Arsenal Team News: Wenger Offers Update On Gabriel, Koscielny & Elneny

By on February 18, 2016

Gabriel arsenal

Arsenal will be aiming to secure their place in the draw for the quarter finals of the FA Cup when they entertain 2014 finalists Hull City at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger has given a team news and injury update and confirmed that Laurent Koscielny is facing a late fitness test.

The French international was forced off at half-time during our 2-1 win over Leicester City on Sunday after suffering a dead leg while attempting to tackle N’Golo Kante just before the break.

Koscielny will be assessed by the clubs medical staff at London Colney on Friday morning but Wenger appears confident the centre-back will be passed fit and available for selection.

The boss also had some positive news to bring us regarding the fitness of Gabriel as he revealed the defender is already running outside after suffering a hamstring injury last week.

Several reports suggested the 25-year-old was facing weeks on the sidelines after going back to Brazil for treatment this week, however, it sounds like Gabriel should be back sooner rather than later.

Wenger also confirmed that he’ll play a competitive team on Saturday and hinted that January signing Mohamed Elneny could make his second start after joining from Basel last month.

The boss told the clubs website:

on Laurent Koscielny…

Koscielny is doing well. He has a test this morning and he looks positive.

on Gabriel…

He is running outside. He is out for Saturday.

on rotating the squad…

I will, as always, play a team who has a good chance to qualify. The normal squad is involved on Saturday. It is a normal squad and we’ll play a usual strong team.

on if Elneny could play…

Elneny is fit. He is one of the players who could get a run [out] there. He’s mobile, he’s a very good player. He’s adapting at the moment and I think he’s there now. We’ll certainly see him against Hull. He has a chance to start.

It’s a huge relief to hear that Koscielny and Gabriel’s injuries aren’t serious. I personally wouldn’t risk Koscielny this weekend and would play Calum Chambers alongside Per Mertesacker at the back, but we’ll have to see what the boss decides to do.

We’ve got Barcelona coming to the Emirates on Tuesday so I expect several of our key men will be given a breather against Hull with the likes of David Ospina, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Flamini, Joel Campbell, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck all pushing for starts.

You can check out my predicted starting eleven here


  1. Ogban

    February 18, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I’d prefer Gabriel for the Barcelona game tbh. I hope he is fully fit when we play that game. Mert can’t stand those sleek blokes from Spain

    • GoonerEris

      February 19, 2016 at 6:51 am

      Ogban, didn’t we hear the same all week before the game against Leicester city? It took an injury to Gabriel for us to see that Mertesacker did not need to have pace (only intelligence and defensive organization) to keep Vardy and Okazaki quiet. I’d like Gabriel too but won’t sweat it if it has to be Mertesacker.

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