Arsenal welcome fellow top-four hopefuls Liverpool to the Emirates on Wednesday night and boss Arsene Wenger has given a team news and injury update ahead of the game with the latest on Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin and Lukasz Fabianski.
The good news is that captain Vermaelen is back and in contention to face the Merseysiders after missing Saturday’s 3-2 win over Brighton with an ankle knock.
However, the boss has confirmed the game will come too soon for midfielders Arteta and Coquelin, with the pair also big doubts for Saturday’s game with Stoke City.
Goalkeeper Fabianski is edging his way back into the reckoning but will now need some game time, most likely with the under-21 squad, before being considered for the first team. Speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger said:
on the changes for Liverpool…
Thomas Vermaelen is back available. And the players who were rested are back in contention, too.
on Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta…
They are a bit short – 100 per cent [they are unavailable] for Wednesday. Even for Saturday [they could be short], but there is a little chance they will be available at the weekend.
on Lukasz Fabianski…
He is doing very well in training and now he needs to play a game.
Arteta is going to be a huge miss tomorrow. His positional sense and economical use of the ball in midfield has been sorely missed in recent games. I can see Arsene playing Abou Diaby alongside Jack Wilshere in midfield in Mikel’s absence, which would be a big test of his match fitness. Aaron Ramsey has performed well in the deeper role in recent games so I’d actually like to see the Welshman start against Liverpool as his energy could be useful.
I’d also like to see Wenger go with Vermaelen and Koscielny at the back as their mobility would be important against the likes of Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling, but we’ll have to wait and see who Arsene selects.
Now we’ve had the team news, what would be your preferred line-up? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.