Arsenal will be without Bacary Sagna when they look to maintain their advantage at the top of the Premier League against Hull City on Wednesday. The Gunners maintained a four-point edge over their rivals after beating Cardiff 3-0 on Saturday, but Wenger confirmed that they will have to navigate the visit of Hull without Sagna, who has picked up a hamstring injury.
“From Saturday against Cardiff we will lose Sagna, who has a slight hamstring problem,” he said, according to Arsenal’s official website. “He should be out for tomorrow's game.”
Carl Jenkinson is set to step into Sagna’s right-back berth for his first start since the Capital One Cup defeat against Chelsea at the end of October, when his error led to the opening goal. Wenger, though, explained that rotations was necessary over the course of a long season.
“We have so many games that in some positions I will have to change; the full-back position is one that is very demanding,” he said. "Central defense is a little bit less demanding on the physical side, it's more on the concentration side.
“When you play so many games of that intensity, we expect to lose one or two players. In every single game I [will rotate]. I try to limit the number because I do not want to disrupt the balance of the team, so I do that in every single game.”
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Wenger’s options will soon be enhanced by Lukas Podolski. The German attacker has been out since tearing his hamstring in August, but is set to return to full training in the coming days.
“Lukas Podolski should be back in normal training after the Hull game,” Wenger confirmed. “What he lacks is competition. You would say it will take at least a week with normal training to consider him fit for the squad.”
Podolski’s return will provide another welcome alternative up front. With Arsenal’s options in the striking department limited, there has been speculation of late moves for Brazil international Alexandre Pato and Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata. Wenger denied those reports and pointed to currently injured summer signing Yaya Sanogo as a reason why there was no panic to make new signings.
"I am not concerned about that [new signings],” he said, according to ESPN. “We have at the moment Yaya Sanogo who is a striker we brought in during the summer, who is coming back from injury in January. Hopefully he will help us in the second part of the season."
January is also expected to see the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been absent with a knee injury suffered on the opening day of the Premier League season. Abou Diaby’s latest comeback from injury is tentatively scheduled for March.