Arsenal's defensive worries mount

Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United.

Laurent Koscielny remains a major doubt with a calf injury and fellow centre-back Calum Chambers is suspended for the clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Full-back Nacho Monreal would normally fill in, but he has a foot injury meaning that Per Mertesacker is the only recognised first-team centre-back available.

"Our main problems are still defensively because Laurent Koscielny looks like he will not be quite ready," manager Arsene Wenger told Arsenal's official website. 

"Nacho Monreal is not back and Calum Chambers is suspended."

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey faces a late check on a hamstring injury, while winger Theo Walcott remains unavailable with a groin complaint.

However, Wenger is expecting the England international to return to action soon.

"The signs are quite good," he added. "He has had two days of training now but he now lacks competition and fitness to come back to a good level."