Revealed: Arsenal casualty list rises to double figures ahead of Watford clash
By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal have 10 players on their mounting casualty list in the wake of Tuesday’s 4-0 FA Cup victory at Hull.
The Gunners brushed the Championship club aside in the fifth-round replay to secure a quarter-final home clash against Watford on Sunday and keep alive their hopes of a third consecutive FA Cup triumph.
But victory came at a cost as Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel were all forced off during the game with injuries.
They join Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny on the sidelines as well as long-term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky.
Arsene Wenger revealed afterwards that the most serious of the three injuries sustained on Tuesday night was the one suffered by key midfielder Ramsey, who broke down just 16 minutes after coming on as a substitute for Gabriel.
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Mertesacker had earlier been substituted 33 minutes into the match with an eye injury and Gabriel was taken off at the start of the second half with a muscle problem.
“I’m a bit under shock,” Wenger told BT Sport afterwards. “We lost our two centre-backs and after that we lost Ramsey.
“Mertesacker is not serious, just a bit of concussion. Gabiel looks alright, Ramsey I am a bit more concerned about. It is a muscular [one], a thigh injury.”
Arsenal’s victory over Hull keeps alive their hopes of winning the FA Cup for the third year in a row and means they will host Watford in the quarter-final on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger is already without Cech for a month, while Koscielny has missed the last three matches with a calf injury and has been rated doubtful for the weekend by the manager.
In other Arsenal injury news, the club’s medical team have revealed that Jack Wilshere is close to regaining full fitness.