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Arsene Wenger Team News Update: Szczesny, Walcott & More….
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given an injury and team news update ahead of Saturday’s north London derby with Tottenham.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, the Frenchman provided the latest on several injured players including Wojciech Szczesny, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Gervinho.
Szczesny, who has been on the sidelines for over six weeks with an ankle injury, is in line to return to the squad and will face a late test on Friday. Walcott was forced off against Fulham last weekend and subsequently missed England’s friendly with Sweden on Wednesday, but is also expected to be in contention but will be tested along with Szczesny on Friday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain should take his place in the squad to face Spurs after overcoming a hip problem and came off the bench to face the Cottagers last weekend. Right back Sagna has only recently returned from six months out with a broken ankle and Wenger confirmed the Frenchman will be tested for fatigue ahead of the game, but Rosicky, Diaby and Gibbs remain out.
Winger Gervinho is also at least a week away from returning from an ankle problem he picked up in the 1-0 win over QPR at the Emirates three weeks ago. Here is what Arsene told Arsenal.com:
on team news…
Of course we have long-term injuries like Rosicky (tendon), Diaby (thigh) and Gibbs (thigh) who are not back at the moment. All the others have little knocks and those decisions will be made on Friday.
on those ‘others’…
Szczesny (ankle), Walcott (muscle), Chamberlain (hip) – they all have a chance to be in the squad. Walcott came off against Fulham and will have a test tomorrow [Friday]. So will Szczesny.
He has a test tomorrow [Friday]. It is just for general fatigue. He’s played three games quickly but before that he didn’t play for six months.
He is still out [with an ankle problem]. He has a chance to be fit for next week.
So it looks like Arsenal could be set to welcome back three players as they entertain their fierce rivals at the Emirates on Saturday lunch-time. The news comes shortly after Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed he could be without up to seven first team players for the game, with Aaron Lennon, Jermaine Defoe and Kyle Walker all facing late tests on hamstring injuries.