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Manager Arsene Wenger says Arsenal cannot afford further injuries over the busy Christmas period after striker Olivier Giroud suffered a hamstring problem

Manager Arsene Wenger says Arsenal cannot afford further injuries over the busy Christmas period after striker Olivier Giroud suffered a hamstring problem in their Carabao Cup quarter-final win over West Ham.

Wenger, who made 11 changes from the weekend triumph over Newcastle, saw his side struggle to break down the defensively resolute visitors in the first half.

But England forward Danny Welbeck broke West Ham's resistance just before the break, turning in Mathieu Debuchy's header across goal as the hosts stayed on course for a first League Cup win since 1993.

The Gunners' night was soured by the loss of Giroud to an injury that could rule him out for three weeks, while Francis Coquelin also limped out of the match late on.

With Arsenal embarking on a run of 10 games in 36 days, Wenger admitted the loss of Giroud had come as a blow.

"It is very demanding, especially because we already have a tough schedule behind us," he said. "We have to sit down and analyse what we can do.

"What is very worrying is when you start to lose players, like Giroud tonight. After, you cannot afford to lose another one. I have to look how I can manage the schedule.

"When you look at our fixtures in January and February, you cannot imagine we will always play with the same players in every game.

"Will I change from Premier League game to Premier League or only in the Carabao Cup? I don't know yet - I have to look at the fixtures to see what I do."

West Ham boss David Moyes also named a much-changed side but they failed to click in attack, with the belated introductions of Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Marko Arnautovic unable to undo the home defence.

Neither Joe Hart, restored to the West Ham side for the rested Adrian, nor Arsenal's second-choice goalkeeper David Ospina were forced into much action in what was a disjointed contest.

Moyes' side had been content to sit back and try to catch Arsenal on the counter during a low-quality first half, but even with the attacking changes they could not muster a single shot on target.

  • Title: Manager Arsene Wenger says Arsenal cannot afford further injuries over the busy Christmas period after striker Olivier Giroud suffered a hamstring problem
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