Arsenal Team News: Wenger Gives Latest On Walcott, Podolski, Rosicky & More…
Arsenal entertain high-flying Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Here’s the latest team news and injury update from Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal entertain high-flying Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon hoping to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Ahead of the game, boss Arsene Wenger has been speaking to Arsenal.com and gave the latest injury news including updates on Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky, Lukas Podolski, Ryo Miyaichi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yaya Sanogo and Abou Diaby.
Lets start with the good news and Walcott is back in the squad after missing the last six weeks with an abdominal strain. The winger has been training for a couple of weeks but Wenger hinted he may use him from the bench and ease him back into action.
Midfielder Rosicky missed the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United before the international break with sickness and is due to have a late fitness test on Friday before his inclusion is confirmed, but the boss is confident he’ll be in the squad.
This weekend still comes too soon for Podolski though, with the German attacker still three weeks away from making a comeback from his hamstring strain, while Ryo has also been ruled out with his own hamstring problem.
Wenger also gave estimates on when his long-term injuries might return and youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to be out for a further month while we wont see Sanogo or Diaby until into next year.
Here’s what Wenger told the clubs official website:
on Theo Walcott….
Theo will be back for Saturday in the squad. He’s completely fit again. He has not played for a long time, of course, he has not played even a reserve team game, but I will put him in the squad on Saturday. Yes [I will use him cautiously].
on Tomas Rosicky…
Tomas was ill, he had one or two [normal] training days, he could be in the squad as well on Saturday. We have a final test on Friday.
on Lukas Podolski…
Podolski is not too far away, I would say three weeks. He is doing fitness training on the pitch. He starts to do some ball work too, he still needs two or three weeks before we see him on the pitch for Arsenal.
Ryo has a hamstring problem that he got from the Norwich game, he will be out for Saturday.
on the longer-term injuries…
Chamberlain is at least one month, Sanogo is January, Diaby will be March.
So the big news is that Theo is back and his return to the squad is a massive boost. Wenger also confirmed earlier today that Jack Wilshere has NOT suffered any injury while away with England – contrary to reports – so he should be available this weekend as well.
Therefore the squad should be the strongest it’s been in quite some time and we’re going to need a good performance to come away with all three points against a resolute Southampton side.
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