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Arsenal Boss Confirms Key Duo Will Sit Out Preston Clash + Ozil Update
Arsene Wenger has given some team news ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup clash with Preston North End this weekend while he’s also offered a concerning update on the fitness of Santi Cazorla.
The Gunners head to Deepdale on Saturday evening in the third round of the FA Cup and Wenger has confirmed that he’ll play the majority of his first team squad but plans to give a couple of his key men a rest.
Laurent Koscielny will sit out the game after being forced off during our 3-3 draw at Bournemouth on Tuesday night with severe cramp while Arsene is also set to give Alexis Sanchez a well-earned breather.
Goalkeeper David Ospina will be given another chance to impress between the sticks with our Champions League No.1 also set to replace Petr Cech in the FA Cup matches.
Speaking at his press conference this morning, Wenger is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard:
“We will play with 90% of the squad. I will rest [Laurent] Koscielny, of course [David] Ospina will play.
“Maybe [Alexis] Sanchez I will rest as well.”
With Koscielny rested we could see Gabriel starting alongside Shkodran Mustafi in the middle of defence while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could replace Sanchez in attack.
However, one man who won’t be involved this weekend is Mesut Ozil as Wenger has confirmed that the playmaker won’t be available after spending the last couple of weeks in bed with the flu.
Ozil is due to return to London Colney today and will be assessed by the club doctor after missing out last two games against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth but the German international won’t be involved against Preston.
In other news, Wenger confirmed that Francis Coquelin is out for up to four weeks, Lucas Perez is a doubt with an ankle injury but Danny Welbeck could make his long-awaited return.