Premier League champions Leicester City will be without captain Wes Morgan and striker Islam Slimani for the trip to FA Cup finalists Arsenal on Wednesday [26 April]. Morgan limped off during the Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid last week with what has been diagnosed as a hamstring injury, while record signing Slimani remains sidelined by a groin problem.
Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare had initially hoped Morgan, who made his first appearance for a month against Atletico, was suffering from cramp but the Jamaican is set for a further spell on the sidelines. Slimani meanwhile has missed the last two matches, including the draw with Crystal Palace with a groin injury suffered in training.
Neither will be involved against Arsenal, while holding midfielder Mampalys Mendy is out for the rest of the season having undergone surgery on an ankle problem. The former France Under-21 international has not played since the FA Cup defeat to Millwall in February primarily down to an ankle issue which will force him out for the remainder of the campaign.
"Unfortunately Wes Morgan won't make it [for Wednesday's game with Arsenal]," said Shakespeare according to Leicester's Twitter page. "I think he just overstretched his hamstring. It's not a full pull but we're just mindful of it. Islam Slimani has a groin strain. Unfortunately Papy Mendy has had an operation on his ankle. He will be out for the rest of the season I'm afraid."
Seven points from their final six league games will guarantee Leicester will beat the drop to the Championship following a run of just one defeat in their last seven fixtures. They travel to an Arsenal side fresh from reaching a record 20th FA Cup final and still chasing a place in next season's Champions League, and Shakespeare expects plenty of fight from Arsene Wenger's side.
"Yesterday [in the 2-1 extra time win over Manchester City] I saw the Arsenal players were fighting to win and they thoroughly deserved their victory," Shakespeare admitted. "I'm not sure what they'll do on Wednesday as they have good depth, but we have to focus on ourselves.
"Both teams need the points for different reasons and I'm sure it'll be a decent game. I'm not sure how many points survival will take. We don't know what's around the corner. We aren't safe. Even if we get there we've to keep trying to win. Competitiveness is vital in football. We need it to the end. We've managed to get a few recovery days now and from looking at training, I think the rest has done us good."
You may be interested in:
- Southampton manager Claude Puel determined to keep Virgil van Dijk amid Chelsea interest
- Hector Bellerin denies knowledge of Barcelona offers as Spaniard remains committed to Arsenal
- Jurgen Klopp bullish regarding Liverpool's Champions League hopes despite nonsensical defending
- Arsenal vs Leicester: Captain Wes Morgan and record signing Islam Slimani to miss Emirates clash