Arsenal Boss Confirms Boost But Quartet Could Miss Palace Clash + Welbeck Update
Arsene Wenger has confirmed a fitness boost ahead of Arsenal’s game with Crystal Palace but four others could miss out while there’s also an update on Welbeck
Arsene Wenger has provided a mixed team news update ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.
Let’s start with the positive news and speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning, Wenger told reporters that Shkodran Mustafi will be back in the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.
The German international suffered the problem against Stoke City earlier this month and has been forced to miss our last three games including back-to-back defeats away to Everton and Manchester City.
However, Mustafi was able to resume full training this week and is now set to come back in to the side for the visit of Palace this weekend with Gabriel expected to make way.
There wasn’t such positive news regarding the fitness of Kieran Gibbs as he’s been ruled out of action on Sunday after picking up a knee injury during our 1-0 win over West Brom on Monday.
Theo Walcott is also set to miss out against Palace after failing to recover from a calf injury that kept him out of the win over West Brom but neither injury is thought to be too serious so they should be available again soon.
We could be without two other players against the Eagles this weekend as Wenger also revealed that a couple of the squad are struggling with flu but he didn’t divulge the names of the stricken players.
The boss is quoted as saying by the Mirror this morning:
“I don’t think that Gibbs will be available. Apart from that Mustafi is fit again and we have one or two uncertainties with flu.”
“Walcott has a calf problem, I don’t think he will be available for Sunday.”
Wenger also provided an update on Danny Welbeck and says that the attacker is now ‘fit’ and looking sharp in training after recovering from a knee cartilage injury that he suffered at the back end of last season.
However, after over seven months on the sidelines, Wenger hasn’t decided whether to ease Welbeck back in with a run out with the under-23’s or throw him straight back in to action with the first team.
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So the squad is in decent shape as we head in to a vital period that will see us take on Palace on Sunday before travelling to Bournemouth on Tuesday, and considering we sit nine points adrift of Chelsea it’s safe to say we need to pick up six points or the title could be a distant dream.
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