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Friday, January 28, 2022

Commentary

Injuries mount as World Cup nears


With the Champions League, the start of the MLS season and the World Cup right around the corner, it is a busy time for players around the globe. Games are being played constantly, and in this sport, injuries are unfortunately going to happen. Here’s a look at some notable injuries recently and how it will affect their teams in upcoming matches.

Brian Ching is worth mentioning. His presence for the Houston Dynamo has been stellar these past seasons, as he has led the team in scoring. He recently suffered a hamstring injury while playing against defending champion Real Salt Lake. The Dynamo were unable to get any offense going in this game and, aside from two penalty kicks, they managed very few shots on goal. Hopefully, Luis Angel Landin can bring some of that Mexican finesse from Morelia and help the Dynamo in their upcoming match against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Thankfully, it is reported that Ching will miss only the next few weeks, which will not upset his World Cup minutes.

Another substantial injury this week was Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, after scoring in the first minute of their Champions League quarterfinal match against Bayern Munich, had to be subbed off with an ankle injury suffered in the first half. This could not have come at a worse time for Manchester United, has relied on Rooney and his 26 league goals this season.

Not only is Manchester United making a run at another Champions League title, but it’s also neck and neck with Chelsea for the Premier League championship, with only a handful of games left. With Dimitar Berbatov’s inconsistent play, Manchester United will need to find a new way to put the ball in the back of the net.

Another Champions League star that will be missing for an important match is Barcelona’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is dealing with a calf tear. Ibrahimovic will miss the second leg quarterfinal against Arsenal and the all-important ‘El Classico’ against Real Madrid next week. Although the Swede scored both goals against Arsenal in their first leg tie, Barcelona is in no shortage of goal scorers, something they proved in a 4-1 thrashing of Bilbao. This match gave replacement Bojan the opportunity to stretch his goal scoring legs with two goals, and dependable Messi collected another.

Bojan will not be starting against Arsenal, however, as Pep Gaurdiola is giving Thierry Henry the lead role against his former club. Henry was given a warm welcome last match against the emirates, but Arsenal’s flailing back-line will have to stand firm against the Frenchman if they do not want to get behind in this match. Real Madrid will look to capitalize on the loss of Ibrahimovic and gain a little redemption after being forced out of another round of 16 Champions League as they vie for the top spot in Spain.

Arsenal is facing its own injury woes, with most of its starters forced to sit on the bench. Cesc Fabregas, the team’s playmaker and captain, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after breaking his leg. He is joined by William Gallas, Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin, among many others. Manager Arsene Wenger must rely on those you don’t normally hear from, including Samir Nasri and Nicklas Bendtner. It looks pretty bleak for the Gunners, who not only have to worry about losing to Barcelona in the Champions League, but also about being caught by the likes of Tottenham and Manchester City in the Premier League.

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