Shattering Arsenal blow as key duo ruled out of Tottenham showdown
By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny have been ruled out of the north London derby on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger revealed in the aftermath of Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea on Wednesday night that the key pair will play no part in the crunch clash at Tottenham.
Koscielny was not in the Gunners squad against Swansea due to a calf injury, while Cech, who had gone into the match with a slight groin problem, then also suffered a calf problem.
The Gunners No1, who has had an outstanding debut season at Emirates Stadium, will be replaced by his deputy David Ospina at White Hart Lane at the weekend.
Speaking afterwards, Wenger explained why Cech was not at his best as Arsenal slumped to a third consecutive defeat for the first time since April 2010.
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“He struggled,” Wenger said at his post-match media conference. “He had a little groin problem before the game and I think he struggled a little bit tonight.
“He will not play on Saturday. I don’t know how serious it is, we have to see. It’s a muscular problem, a calf problem and I don’t know how long he will be out for. I trust Ospina completely.”
Asked about Koscielny, who was replaced in the starting X1 by Per Mertesacker, Wenger said: “He has a calf problem as well. He will not play on Saturday.”
Arsenal’s hopes of landing a first league title in 12 years suffered a heavy blow as Swansea came from behind to win at Emirates Stadium.
Joel Campbell slid to hook the Gunners into an early lead and they looked set to make up ground on leaders Leicester.
Swansea – missing manager Francesco Guidolin through illness – levelled when Wayne Routledge side-footed home before Ashley Williams pounced to earn a crucial Swansea win that gave Arsenal a third consecutive defeat for the first time since April 2010.