Cech to miss London derby

LONDON • To add insult to injury, Arsenal will be without goalkeeper Petr Cech for Saturday's trip to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Cech appeared to pull up in the dying moments of Wednesday's 2-1 Premier League defeat by Swansea after going up for a corner in search of an equaliser.

The 33-year-old ended the game clutching his leg following a sprint back to goal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed Cech had gone into the match carrying an injury.

"He struggled, he had a little groin problem before the game," the Frenchman said. "He will not play on Saturday. It's a muscle problem, a calf problem, and I don't know for how long he will be out."

"I have full faith in (David) Ospina."

Ospina has made just five appearances in all competitions this season for the Gunners. The Colombia international's blunder helped give Olympiakos a 3-2 win in the Champions League group stage in September.

Yet, the man who displaced him in goal did not have the best of nights on Wednesday either. Cech - brought to Arsenal for his calming experience and winning mentality - made an uncharacteristic mistake that gifted Swansea their 74th-minute winner.

When Gylfi Sigurdsson whipped in the free kick, Cech spilled, allowing Ashley Williams to bundle the ball over the line.

Still, Cech's absence will be a blow for the Gunners, who are already without their best defender.

Laurent Koscielny missed Wednesday's game with a calf problem and Wenger confirmed that the centre-back remains sidelined.

Gabriel Paulista will be expected to deputise for the France international when Arsenal seek to close the three-point gap between themselves and arch rivals Tottenham, who are second in the table.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'Cech to miss London derby'. Print Edition | Subscribe