Van Persie injury curse hits Arsenal

ARSENAL could close to within one point of Premier League leaders Manchester United tonight but will have to do so without their most in-form attacker, Robin van Persie, after the Dutchman’s injury curse struck again.

Van Persie, who has 11 goals in eight games, and centre-back Laurent Koscielny are both sidelined for the visit of Stoke this evening, while midfielder Abou Diaby is suspended.

Manager Arsene Wenger, however, insists the hamstring and back injuries suffered by Van Persie and Koscielny are minor and that both “have a chance” of playing in Sunday’s Carling Cup final.

Stoke are the first of five opponents in a hectic 14 days and Wenger admits he has never been busier. “We were never involved in four competitions at this stage of the season so that is credit to the squad,” he said.