Injured leftback Kieran Gibbs is still unavailable with this weekends Premier League home fixture against Fulham fast approaching.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey face fitness tests to determine whether they will be fit, and Wenger will need The Ox to return with limited options out wide.
Wojciech Szczesny could make his long awaited return to the first team fold as he is due to play for the U21 side, however it is likely he will be benched with Vito Mannone performing admirably in recent matches.
Wenger revealed the following team news on Arsenal’s official website:
[on fitness tests] From the other night we have no big problem. We have to test Oxlade-Chamberlain to see if he can be in the squad, we have a test as well with Aaron Ramsey to see if he can be in the squad.
[on Wojciech Szczesny] Maybe Wojciech has a little chance to be in the squad because he will play tomorrow [Friday] with the under-21s. If he gets through I might take him in the squad.
[on other absentees] Gervinho is out, Diaby out, Rosicky out, Gibbs as well is not back.
Diaby’s injury is an absolute mystery. When he first suffered his strain he was supposed to be out for ‘two to three’ weeks, however that was at the end of September.
If fit, we can expect Aaron Ramsey to start alongside Cazorla and Arteta in the midfield with Wilshere suspended, if he pulls up short then Francis Coquelin will be the most likely starter which will allow Arteta a bit more attacking freedom.
The biggest concern will be over Oxlade-Chamberlain as wingers are thin at present. Walcott and Podolski will be in the first XI, but Wenger needs some options from the bench if things don’t go to plan or injury strikes.
In terms of Szczesny, his return to the first team will be welcomed however Mannone has produced positive performances in recent fixtures so regardless he should start between the sticks. The competition can only be positive for Szcz’s development as the last thing he needs is to feel complacent.