Arsenal Team News: Wenger Confirms Double Fitness Boost But Key Man A Doubt
Arsene Wenger has confirmed a double injury boost ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup clash with Watford but a key man remains a doubt for the game.
Arsenal will be looking to book their place in the semi finals of the FA Cup when we host Watford at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger has been holding his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s given reporters a team news and injury update.
The boss was pleased to confirm a double injury boost with the news that Per Mertesacker and Gabriel should be available for selection against Watford this weekend.
Mertesacker was forced off during the first half of our FA Cup fifth round replay win over Hull on Tuesday night after a clash of heads but the German defender is fit to line-up against the Hornets on Sunday.
Gabriel limped off midway through the second half at the KC Stadium after tweaking his hamstring but the Brazilian is expected to train tomorrow and Arsene believes he’ll be passed fit to play in our quarter final clash.
Francis Coquelin will return from suspension while Hector Bellerin is set to return to the squad after being rested in midweek but Laurent Koscielny remains a doubt.
The centre-back will resume full training on Saturday after three games out with a calf problem but Wenger will get advice from the medical team and make a late decision over his involvement.
Wenger is quoted as saying by London24:
“From the Hull game we lost Ramsey. Gabriel and Mertesacker should be available. Koscielny is not far, will I risk him? I haven’t made a decision yet. Coquelin is coming back from a suspension and Bellerin was not in the squad but is available.”
“Gabriel has not trained but Mertesacker has. I don’t think Gabriel has lost too much fitness but we will see. My gut feeling is that he will be available.”
“Koscielny will join training tomorrow and then we will maybe take a gamble on a guy who has had one training session. If I get advice from the medical team I will do it.”
If Gabriel is passed fit, then I don’t think there is any point risking Koscielny on Sunday. We also have Calum Chambers available so let’s give Kos more time to build on his fitness and he should be 100% by the time we travel to the Nou Camp to take on Barcelona next Wednesday night.
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