In last night’s League Cup showdown against London rivals West Ham, Arsene Wenger made 11 changes to his side in an attempt to keep players fresh for the Premier League campaign.
Despite the rotation, Wenger’s side picked up a significant injury last night, as Olivier Giroud limped off the pitch with an apparent hamstring injury with 18 minutes left to play. Francis Coquelin also might have picked up a slight knock.
Although Giroud was unlikely to start against Liverpool on Friday night, the French international striker has become a regular late-game threat in recent seasons for the Gunners.
“Overall it’s a positive night for us, other than we lost Olivier Giroud,” Wenger explained post-match. “Francis Coquelin looks less problematic, but Giroud looks to be out for Friday night.
“Nowadays you do the scan 48 hours after the injury. That will happen on Thursday, then we’ll have a precise kind of grade on what his hamstring is.
“When you listen to him [Giroud], the pain is quite big, but the grade is not always linked with the intensity of the pain.”
Of course, we wouldn’t wish injury on opposition players, but Giroud is exactly the type of player who could cause our defense some headaches late in a game. His absence will also be a blow to Wenger’s ability to change things up if (as is hopefully the case) his initial game plan is not going well.