The Gunners are set to face Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening without the services of Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski, as the duo are both suffering ankle knocks.
Lukasz Fabianski, Abou Diaby, Andrey Arshavin and Kieran Gibbs have all been included in the traveling squad for the Champions League last-16 second leg, as Wenger attempts to overhaul a 3-1 first leg deficit.
Wojciech Szczesny has surprisingly been rested with his compatriot Fabianski set for his first appearance for the 2012/13 season after his long comeback from a series of injuries.
Meanwhile, Nacho Monreal is cup tied after his participation in the competition with Malaga, making Gibbs’ availability crucial to allow captain Vermaelen to play centrally. Jenkinson will be set for another start on the right in the absence of Sagna.
Wilshere’s injury has been ruled as more precautionary rather than serious, with Wenger opting to rest the in-form midfielder for three weeks, meaning he will miss next weekends tie with Swansea. But Tomas Rosicky is more than capable of filling the void left by the Englishman.
Wenger revealed the following team news at his pre-match press conference:
[on the team news] Wilshere is out with an inflamed ankle, on the [left side], not the [right side] where he was injured [before] and he will be out for three weeks. He will not be available for Munich, for Swansea and not for the England games.
[on Kieran Gibbs] He is back in the squad, yes. It is great to have him back because we play Vermaelen out of position, although he can play left back. I have not decided if Kieran will start, but hopefully he will be fit to start.
[on Sagna and Diaby] Sagna is not available, Diaby is back in the squad. He has a test [on Wednesday]. Again, he is a bit short but hopefully he can travel.
[On Wilshere’s absence] Hopefully for the Premier League he will only miss one game because after [the Swansea game] is an international break and hopefully we can slowly prepare him.
At the moment I noticed in the last two games he had to dig deep because he played 30 games [including his preparation matches]. For us it is not welcome, but maybe for him it is not too bad that he has a little breather.
It is more about prevention. We trust people who are specialists in this area and they told us we have to stop him for a short period.
Of course, you ideally want him there with us [in Bayern]. He was out for 17 months and we had to deal with it, so we must be able to do it for two or three weeks.