The Gunners have been handed a boost for this weekends FA Cup fifth round tie with the news that Thomas Vermaelen is likely to be available for selection, while short term absentees Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny require tests.
Bacary Sagna filled in at centre half against Sunderland and was instrumental in Arsenal’s second consecutive clean sheet, however with Jenkinson suspended the Frenchman is required in his natural right back position. The return of Vermaelen will see this season’s most consistent centre back pairing back in action with the club captain reunited with Per Mertesacker who has had a brilliant second season in Arsenal colours.
With one eye on Tuesday’s Champions league tie against Bayern Munich, Wenger may look to rotate the squad, however only minimal changes will likely be made as the FA Cup is Arsenal’s most realistic shot at silverware.
With Wilshere still not 100% fit and Diaby available there is no need to risk the Englishman, while the likes of Rosicky and Ramsey add options from the bench with Cazorla and Arteta likely starters.
Arsene Wenger revealed the following team news:
[on Thomas Vermaelen (ankle)] He is looking quite good and is possibly back for Saturday. He should be in the squad.
[On Jack Wilshere] He is having tests today [Thursday] and tomorrow. He is looking better. He is still a doubt for Saturday. He’s got a kick on the thigh.
[on Laurent Koscielny (calf)] That is a problem. He has a test today and tomorrow exactly like Wilshere.
[on other team news] Ramsey is alright. Sagna is alright. Jenkinson is suspended. Diaby is available again and all the other players are alright.
[on Fabianski playing his first game of the season in midweek] He came back in the week so we are not too bad on the injury front. We have two short-term problems, with Koscielny and Wilshere, while Gibbs is out. That is it.