Arsenal Team News: Wenger Confirms Fitness Blow + Offers Update On Cazorla
Arsene Wenger has given a team news and injury update ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup third round clash with Sunderland this weekend. See the latest updates here
Arsene Wenger has given Arsenal.com a team news and injury update ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup third round clash with Sunderland this weekend.
The Gunners boss has unfortunately revealed that Alexis Sanchez isn’t going to be fit enough to be in the squad as he’s still not ready to return following six weeks out with a hamstring injury.
Arsene says his admission is just a precaution and he should be ready to go in a matter of days so hopefully Alexis will be back in contention for the trip to Anfield to face Liverpool next Wednesday.
The boss also gave an update on Santi Cazorla and says the Spaniard is making good progress in his recovery from a knee ligament injury. The midfielder was ruled out until March after undergoing surgery in November but Arsene says there is a chance he could be back a little sooner than expected.
Wenger also said that Francis Coquelin is recovering well from his knee injury while Tomas Rosicky is due to resume training next week after missing the entire first half of the season with a knee cartilage problem.
In a further boost, Mikel Arteta is now considered fit and available after playing 45 minutes for the Under-21’s earlier this week having recovered from his latest calf injury.
We suffered no fresh injury concerns following last week’s win over Newcastle United so Arsene will pick from a similar squad, but he gave little away as to whether he’ll be tempted to rest a few key men for the FA Cup clash with Sunderland.
Here is what the boss told the clubs website:
on the latest team news…
The team news is that, from last week, we have no big injuries, and the squad will be similar to the squad who played the last game against Newcastle. Will a young player or two start? I haven’t decided yet.
The bad news of the week is that Alexis is not quite ready. It is a precaution because of his hamstring, and it takes a few more days. He’s not bad but he’s not ready.
on Santi Cazorla…
Nothing’s changed [from the original timescale] with Santi. It could be a bit shorter with him because he’s often quicker [to recover] than you expect him to be. Cazorla and Coquelin are doing well.
on Rosicky and Arteta…
Tomas Rosicky is not far, he’s back in full training next week, so should be available soon. Mikel is available.
on the possibility of resting players…
The thinking is to give absolutely everything to qualify. We are the holders of the cup and I know as well by experience that it is very important that you get in the competition and that you have a successful third round. It’s a tricky one, always, the third round.
I think it’s safe to say we’re keeping Sanchez back for the Liverpool game and I hope Arsene also decides to give the likes of Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud a well earned rest against Sunderland ahead of that crucial trip to Merseyside.
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