CHANGE TO TEAM NEWS:. Laurent Koscielny had trouble with his calf in the warm up and will be replaced by Carl Jenkinson #SFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) February 9, 2013
The 27-year-old Koscielny has been battling a calf injury in recent days, and failed to reach top form during warm-ups.
Arsenal fans must be hoping that the Frenchman can get healthy soon, as his experience and overall presence at the back is vital to the Gunners' success. Koscielny has just one goal in 14 Premier League outings with Arsenal this season, but is most valuable to Arsene Wenger's club as an intelligent and composed defender.
Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Jenkinson had played in only 10 Premier League matches for Arsenal this season coming into Saturday. His last start was one to forget, as the Gunners fell 2-0 to Swansea City in early-December.
After news of Koscielny's status for Saturday's match, the Daily Mirror's John Cross wasted little time criticizing Arsenal:
Late injury to Koscielny should highlight why Santos shouldn't be allowed to go until either Vermaelen or Gibbs are back. #afc— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) February 9, 2013
On the pitch, Jenkinson didn't waste much time showing his inexperience. He picked up an early yellow card just nine minutes into Saturday's match at Stadium of Light. Wenger can only hope that the youngster can settle down and provide some resistance in front of the net for the Gunners.
Arsenal have won two of their last three Premier League matches coming into this weekend, and trail fifth-place Everton by just one point coming into Saturday's away clash with Sunderland.
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