Arsenal face full-back crisis

Arsenal could head into the jam-packed Christmas period without any recognised full-backs after Andre Santos injured his right ankle in the Champions League loss to Olympiakos.

Andre Santos injured his left ankle in Arsenal's defeat at Olympiakos

The Brazilian left-back, one of the few first-team regulars selected for the 3-1 defeat on Tuesday, was forced off early in the second half.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger revealed the extent of the problem, saying: ‘Santos suffered a bad ankle injury. He looks like he’ll be out for a while.’

Fellow left-back Kieran Gibbs has been out since November with a hernia and may only be fit to return in three weeks. Right-backs Carl Jenkinson and Bacary Sagna are also injured.

Arsenal are set for an exhausting run of six Barclays Premier League matches in 24 days, starting against Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Frimpong insists the Gunners must look on the bright side after their defeat in Greece.

Arsenal had already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League and so rested key players, giving youngsters and squad players a chance to shine.

And that experience will serve the young players well in particular, says Frimpong.

‘It was a great atmosphere and it was lovely to be involved,’ he told Arsenal’s website. ‘If the likes of me, Francis [Coquelin] and Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain] can show we can play here, we can play anywhere. I know we lost the game but we have to take positives from it. People that haven’t been getting a lot of games this season have been getting them.’

He added: ‘It was a tough game. To be fair to Olympiacos I thought they played really well.

‘We started off a bit slow, got into the game a bit but it was a bit too late before the half ended. We showed great character to get a goal back and it’s a shame we conceded in the last minute.’

Lukasz Fabianski meanwhile is confident of making a speedy recover from the gashed knee he suffered in the defeat.

Arsenal’s No 2 sustained the injury when accidentally clashing with  Thomas Vermaelen.

‘I think I am fine, it’s just a really deep cut.,’ the Pole told the club’s official website.

‘It was really unlucky but hopefully all the ligaments in my knee should be OK. Hopefully nothing will come out tomorrow or in the next couple of days.

‘I can only talk about the time I was on the pitch because afterwards I didn’t see anything. You could see that Olympiacos were really up for it and they were pushing hard.

‘The first goal we conceded was a bit unlucky because it went off our defender. We could have maybe come back in a different way but unfortunately we didn’t and that’s how it finished.’