Tuesday Kickoff: Arsenal facing injury crisis; Ronaldinho picks up new honor; and more

Tuesday Kickoff: Arsenal facing injury crisis; Ronaldinho picks up new honor; and more

South American Soccer

Tuesday Kickoff: Arsenal facing injury crisis; Ronaldinho picks up new honor; and more

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Heading into their fourth game in 10 days during the busy English Premier League holiday schedule, Arsenal’s depth will be seriously tested when they take the field on Wednesday.

Arsenal is currently facing an injury crisis as the London club could be missing more than half of their regular starters due to injury when they play Cardiff City on New Years Day. Olivier Giroud, Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott, and Jack Wilshere all picked up injuries during Arsenal’s 1-0 victory against Newcastle, while Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey, Thomas Vermaelen, and Kieran Gibbs were already set to miss out for the Gunners.

Rosicky, Walcott, and Wilshere all face fitness tests on Tuesday to determine whether they can play on Wednesday. Özil was ruled out of last Sunday’s match with a shoulder problem.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has yet to decide whether he will start Lukas Podolski as his lone striker on Wednesday or Nicklas Bendtner.

Here are some more stories to start your Tuesday:

RONALDINHO NAMED SOUTH AMERICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Though his season ended in disappointment, Brazilian star Ronaldinho picked up a new individual honor ahead of the new year.

Ronaldinho was named by Uruguayan paper El Pais as the 2013 South American Player of the Year, taking the award from compatriot Neymar, who had won it each of the last two seasons. Not only is it the first time that Ronaldinho has received the award, but it’s also the first time a South American POY is also a former European Player of the Year, which Ronaldinho was in 2005.

The 33-year-old midfielder revitalized his career with Atletico Mineiro in the last 12 months, leading the club to the Copa Libertadores title and a third-place finish at the Club World Cup. Ronaldinho also helped Atletico Mineiro win the local state championship.

QUICK KICKS

Manchester United is considering making a $33 million bid for Southampton left back Luke Shaw, despite Southampton’s insistence that they won’t accept any offers. (REPORT)

FIFA has annulled the match between Spain and Equatorial Guinea in November because the referee was Guinean. (REPORT)

Hannover 96 hires Turkish manager Tayfun Korkut to be the club’s new head coach. (REPORT)

Barcelona winger Cristian Tello is set to complete a loan move in January to Liverpool. (REPORT)

Tottenham midfielder Paulinho will miss at least a month after suffering an ankle injury. (REPORT)

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has claimed that the club won’t sell Edin Dzeko in January, despite plenty of speculation and rumors over a move to Italy. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Arsenal winning on Wednesday without Giroud? Think they need to sign a forward in January? Agree with Ronaldinho winning the award?

Share your thoughts below.

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