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Arsenal Team News: Wenger Confirms Key Duo Could Miss Out + Walcott Latest

Arsene Wenger has given a team news update including the latest on several of his first team players ahead of Arsenal’s trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton

Aaron Ramsey

Image: Daily Star

Arsenal will be hoping to continue their recent run of good form when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on New Years Day.

Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this morning and has given a team news and injury update.

Unfortunately, the boss has revealed that Danny Welbeck is a doubt after picking up a thigh problem during our 2-1 win over West Ham at the weekend. Welbeck got himself on the score-sheet at Upton Park before being forced off late on and is now at risk of missing the trip to the South Coast on Thursday.

In a double blow, Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out as he continues to try and recover from a hamstring injury that’s seen him miss the last three weeks. There was hope last week that the Welshman could feature against Southampton but Arsene is being cautious with him after a similar injury saw him miss three months last season.

There is some good news as Tomas Rosicky will be back in the squad after being rested against West Ham on Sunday while Theo Walcott is also pushing for some game-time having fully recovered from a groin problem.

Here is what Wenger told the clubs website:

on the latest…

The team news is that the squad will basically be the same that played at West Ham. We have an uncertainty about Welbeck, who came off with a thigh problem. I think he will be short for Thursday.

on Tomas Rosicky…

Rosicky will be back in the squad because he was rested. Giroud is still suspended. I will have to make a decision on who will come back, but Rosicky will come in for sure.

on rotation…

We have Southampton which is another game that will demand a high intensity and commitment, so I will have to look at how we recovered because we gave a lot in the last two games in 48 hours. It’s down now to the quality of the recovery.

Rotation is a sensitive subject because you can destabilise your team with too much rotation. So you have to find the right numbers for rotating the team. Overall, you want to keep the balance of your team and as well refresh sometimes in the positions where players are a bit tired.

on Alexis…

Alexis is a guy who has a naturally quick recovery and he has a lot of energy available as well.

on Theo Walcott…

Walcott is involved because he was already in the squad. Of course I judge him a bit short on the competition front but on the fitness front he is ready to play.

on Aaron Ramsey…

Ramsey is not available yet. There’s no setback but because he had a setback last year, we have to be very cautious with his thigh – he was out for three months.

It would be a major blow if Welbeck was to be ruled out as with Olivier Giroud suspended, we’d be without our top two strikers for an important away game against another side pushing for the top four.

Ramsey will also be a big miss as we’ve been unable to rotate too much in the middle of the park with Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere also out, so it looks as though Mathieu Flamini and Santi Cazorla will continue in the center of the park on Thursday.

I would like to see Theo get some minutes under his belt as it’s been a surprise to see him as an unused substitute during the last three matches, but I have a feeling Arsene will start him from the bench again and possibly bring him on in the second half if needed.

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