Petr Cech is likely to miss Saturday’s North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, as per reports. The goalkeeper suffered a calf-injury during Arsenal’s 5-1 rout of Everton on Saturday and is a big doubt for the game against Spurs, report the Telegraph.
Cech is not expected to recover from the injury he sustained at the weekend. Arsene Wenger initially said that the injury looked like a kick on the calf. The Gunners appeared to be calm over the goalkeeper’s fitness going forward.
However, it is understood that the scans yesterday indicated more damage than initially feared and that could see Cech miss out on the North London derby.
It would mean David Ospina coming back into the team to replace the Czech goalkeeper between the sticks and it will be only his second appearance in the Premier League this season, with the Colombian having mainly been used in the domestic cup and European competitions.
Cech has been the club’s No.1 goalkeeper since his arrival in 2015 and Ospina would hope to grab this opportunity with both the hands and prove a point to Wenger. The Colombian has often been criticised for making naïve decisions, and should he be needed this week, it would be shaky for the Arsenal defence which is already leaking goals at an alarming rate.
Well, an injury to Cech is a massive blow to Arsenal but a much bigger boost to Spurs. The former Chelsea goalkeeper has been Wenger’s undisputed No.1 since 2015 and although he has come under a lot of fire for his performance against Swansea, there is no denying the 35-year-old is still a reliable player between the sticks.
Keeping in mind Arsenal are struggling defensively and now are likely to be without Cech, Mauricio Pochettino could devise a different strategy to unsettle Ospina.
Spurs showed character on Sunday with an improved second-half performance against Liverpool that saw us take a vital point at Anfield. Pochettino would be well aware of Arsenal’s lack of defensive solidity and I won’t be surprised if Fernando Llorente is paired up with Harry Kane at the top. Victory against the Gunners will see us leapfrog Chelsea and Liverpool at least on a temporary basis.