Football

Arsenal likely to be without Giroud for Liverpool clash

Gunners likely to be without French striker for Liverpool clash

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has been ruled out of Saturday morning's (Singapore time) Premier League match against fierce rivals Liverpool with a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger has said.

Giroud, who has scored seven goals this season, was substituted in the second half of Arsenal's 1-0 victory over West Ham United in the League Cup quarter-finals yesterday morning and will undergo scans today to assess the damage.

"It doesn't look very good for him," Wenger told reporters after the victory. "I think he's out of Friday night...

"We have to wait. 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, the pain is quite big, but the grade is not always linked with the intensity of the pain."

Francis Coquelin was also substituted in the final stages of the match with a knock but Wenger expects the midfielder to be fit to face their fellow top-four contenders.

Arsenal are fifth in the league, a point and a place behind Liverpool, and host the Merseyside club at the Emirates.

Yesterday's League Cup match saw the Gunners book their place in the semi-finals courtesy of a Danny Welbeck strike.

Wenger fielded an entirely changed starting XI from the side that beat Newcastle at the weekend against David Moyes' West Ham, who have been on a good recent run.

Welbeck scrambled the ball over the line shortly before half-time for the winning goal.

Moyes lauded his team's performance at the Emirates but felt experienced midfielders must be recruited in the January transfer window after 18-year-olds Domingos Quina and Declan Rice were fielded for a much-changed West Ham side.

"We have been making progress and winning games and we've been well organised and hard to play against. We showed that again tonight," Moyes said.

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"But, what we're seeing as we go along in the next step is adding quality. Tonight, we were short on midfield players and generally we're short in that area and we could do with adding a little more craft...

"But, January is never the easiest month to deal with."

Moyes also took the chance to question the Football Association's decision to hand key midfielder Manuel Lanzini a two-game ban for simulation, saying there is a lack of consistency regarding incidents that warrant a suspension.

Lanzini was banned for "successful deception of a match official" during last Saturday's 3-0 Premier League win at Stoke City, with an independent regulatory panel agreeing that the Argentinian had dived to win the penalty that led to the opening goal.

The FA rejected West Ham's appeal of the ban on Tuesday, making Lanzini the second player to be retrospectively banned for simulation after Everton's Oumar Niasse.

Moyes said: "I wonder how they could get to that conclusion where everyone was unanimous on the decision.

"It sounds as if, I'm not sure even in this room that everybody would be unanimous and that was what was said it had to be." - WIRE SERVICES

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