With the news that Sokratis has been ruled out of action until the end of February, and Laurent Koscielny still dealing with a bruised and swollen jaw suffered in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup, the big question is who will play at centre-half when Arsenal meet Cardiff in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Shkodran Mustafi is fit and sure to start, but who partners him is something that will be giving Unai Emery some thought.
He could use Nacho Monreal, who has played there in the past, and last Friday he shifted Granit Xhaka back into defence – not for the first time this season too.
However, there may well be an opportunity for young Greek defender Dinos Mavropanos who is in contention to start his first game since receiving a red card against Leicester last season.
“He has been working with us for the past month and playing with the under-23s and he is OK,” said Emery.
“The first half can work with him for the squad tomorrow and he is in the squad with the possibility to play.”
We’re not entirely sure what the head coach means here, but the bottom line appears to be Mavropanos is being considered for action.
It would be an interesting time for him to step up and stake his claim for a place, but let’s not forget he’s still very young and has limited experience at this level so expecting him to come in and be flawless might be setting the bar a bit too high.
Emery confirmed that Koscielny’s jaw was not broken, and if tomorrow comes too soon, the skipper could well be back for our somewhat daunting visit to Man City on Sunday.