Giroud to miss festive programme

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud looks set to miss the entire festive schedule after sustaining a hamstring injury against West Ham United on Tuesday.

The Frenchman faces at least three weeks on the sidelines after picking up the problem during the 1-0 win in the Carabao Cup quarter-final encounter.

Giroud has scored seven goals for the Gunners this term despite often starting matches on the substitutes bench.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted after the victory against the Hammers: “It puts more pressure on the rest of the squad of course but I have still [Alexande Lacazette], [Theo] Walcott and Danny Welbeck, who can play up front.

“[Alexis] Sanchez is a possibility as well.”

Wenger has several other injury problems to consider as Aaron Ramsey is currently sidelined while Francis Coquelin limped out of Tuesday’s win with cramp, although he is expected to be available for the Premier League clash against Liverpool on Friday.

Wenger added: “Will I change from Premier League to Premier League or in the League Cup? I don’t know yet. I will have to look at the fixtures.

“It is very demanding, especially because we have already a tough schedule behind us. I will have to sit down and analyse very well what we can do.

“Overall what is very worrying in my job is when you start to lose players like Giroud. After you cannot afford to lose another one or another one. I have to look how I can manage the schedule.”

Arsenal, 13/8 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, are 13/10 to beat Liverpool on Friday and 10/1 to win the match 2-1.

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