Arsenal Team News: Wenger’s Update On Injured Trio + Koscielny Faces Late Check
Arsene Wenger has given a team news update on Gibbs, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Szczesny, Ospina and Debuchy ahead of Arsenal game with Southampton.
Arsenal will be looking to close the gap at the top of the table when they entertain Southampton at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger has given Arsenal.com a team news update with the latest on the fitness of several of his first team squad.
The Frenchman confirmed that Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all doubts after picking up knocks during Saturday’s 1-0 win at West Brom.
Monreal was forced off with a knee problem before his replacement, Gibbs, ended the game hobbling after suffering a hip injury midway through the second half.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was a late substitute at the Hawthorns but also finished the match limping after taking a kick to his ankle, and Wenger has revealed all three will face late fitness tests to see if they can face Southampton.
Monreal and Oxlade-Chamberlain look the most likely to be passed fit as they took part in training on Tuesday afternoon, but we’ll have to wait for the teams to be announced on Wednesday night for confirmation.
Laurent Koscielny made his first start in over a month on Saturday after recovering from an Achilles injury and although he came through the game unscathed, the boss says he wants to make a check on him to see how the French international has responded to competitive action.
Wenger also revealed that Wojciech Szczesny will miss the Saints clash but could be back in contention for Saturday’s trip to Stoke as he’s due back in training at the end of the week following a hip injury.
There was also a positive update on long-term injury victims Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina, with the duo back in training and could be available to face Newcastle at the Emirates next weekend, while Yaya Sanogo is also back after a minor hamstring problem.
Here’s what the boss told the clubs website:
on team news…
We have some question marks about Monreal, about Gibbs and about Oxlade-Chamberlain. They have tests this morning. Everybody else looks to be available. We have Koscielny, who has just come back after a long time, so we’ll see how he responds this morning. That’s basically it. Szczesny is still out.
on how far Szczesny is from returning…
Maybe three or four days, or the end of the week. We don’t know yet.
on Debuchy, Ospina, Sanogo…
Debuchy is one week away. He is training. Could he be involved next week? Certainly. Ospina is as well one week. Sanogo is alright now.
on getting players back at the right time…
Yes we are, especially defensively. Debuchy is not far, Ospina is not far. Of course Koscielny is back now. Let’s hope he will be back for a long period.
Fingers crossed Monreal or Gibbs are passed fit for the game tomorrow as we’ll have a real problem at left-back if they are both ruled out. The likely option for Wenger will be to start youngster Hector Bellerin.
It will be a huge boost to have Debuchy back in the squad next week as he’s been sorely missed in recent months, and it will give us some valuable depth at the back with Calum Chambers freed up to act as cover for Koscielny and Mertesacker.
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