Arsenal rocked: Injured Diaby in Van Persie mould

France midfielder will miss World Cup qualifier against Belarus

Arsenal suffered a major blow ahead of their Premier League clash against Southampton this weekend with midfield general Abou Diaby picking up a muscle injury.

Arsenal's Diaby saga is increasingly taking on a Robin Van Persie hue.

Untold wealth of talent hampered by injury. Then, coming back from injury, talent revealed. Become the mainstay and heart of Arsenal team. Sold.

Diaby has completed acts one and two of the four-part drama.

If this injury is not serious, he will get his chance for act three. Only Arsene Wenger can change act four.

the France midfielder is likely to miss Tuesday's World Cup Group I qualifier with Belarus after feeling muscle pain.

The Arsenal star, who scored the only goal in Friday's victory in Finland, has an unspecified muscle problem and is a doubtful starter for the game at the Stade de France.

"He took a bad knock (against Finland) and won't train today," coach Didier Deschamps told a news conference before adding that defender Gael Clichy was also injured.

"They both will struggle to make it."

Diaby's career has been plagued by injuries. He played only four games for Arsenal last season and missed Euro 2012.

But he has been the engine of Arsenal's midfield this season ala Yaya Toure of Manchester City, inspiring the Gunners to victory against Liverpool at Anfield.

But he would be a doubtful starter when Arsenal host Southampton this weekend.

However, the good news is that Olivier Giroud is fit.

Deschamps said Arsenal's new striker Giroud, who missed the Finland game, was fit again but did not confirm he would play.

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