The Czech pushed himself to the limit against Chelsea and was withdrawn in the second half due to fatigue for Diaby, and now it seems the Frenchman caught the playmaker’s bug so is now doubtful but should be in the squad.
Meanwhile injured Theo Walcott has a slight chance of returning to fitness for the final game against Norwich, and long term absentee Mertesacker is progressing well on his road to recovery, but on a more positive note Benayoun returns to the side after being ineligible last weekend.
Wenger revealed the following team news on the club’s official website:
[on Tomas Rosicky] He is alright. He was sick last weekend. I think he pushed himself very hard to get on the pitch but he has recovered since and should be fit for the game.
[on Abou Diaby] He will not start. He was sick until yesterday and had a light session. He could be short again but he could be in the squad.
[on Theo Walcott] Theo is out for Saturday. He has a little chance to catch the last game but not the next two.
[on Per Mertesacker] He is doing well. He is hopeful he will make the Euros and I hope he does. He is doing all his work here and the next two weeks will be vital for him. He has started ball work and he looks quite good.
[on other team news] Basically the squad should be similar to what we have seen in the last game. But Yossi Benayoun should be back because he could not play in the last game against Chelsea.
Benayoun will highly likely return to the starting lineup to partner either Oxlade-Chamberlain or Gervinho on the wing with Walcott injured. Hopefully Rosicky retains his central attacking role rather than Wenger pushing him out wide like he has before, which leaves Ramsey to partner Song in the heart of the midfield in the absence of Arteta.
I had hoped Diaby would be fit to start against Stoke as the lanky Frenchman would add extra physicality to the mids or perhaps Coquelin could add some steel but knowing Wenger he will continue to have faith in Ramsey who has been lackluster as of late. But if Ramsey gets the nod hopefully he can overcome his demons from that fateful day two years ago when he suffered the horrific leg break, and put in a solid performance that we all know he is capable of.