Arsene Wenger has revealed Arteta has a ‘minimal chance’ of featuring in Arsenal’s must-win final game away to Newcastle United this weekend.
The news will come as a blow for the outstanding vice-captain who has been a pivotal figure in the Gunners lineup this season. But Arsenal have depth in midfield with Wilshere able to step in, however his own ankle complaint will limit the time he can play for.
While Wenger will miss mr consistent in midfield, Olivier Giroud is once again available after sitting out the past three matches due to suspension. The Frenchman will struggle to get the callup to start however with Lukas Podolski netting a brace against Wigan this week, but he will certainly play a part in proceedings.
Wenger revealed the following team news in his usual pre-match press conference:
[On Arteta] For the weekend, we have the uncertainty over Mikel Arteta, who had to come off just before the end of the Wigan game with a calf strain. Honestly, his chances of being available are minimal. I have to be realistic and prepare for another solution.
[on the overall injury situation] Everybody else should be alright. There are no other real uncertainties.
[on Wilshere replacing Arteta] He is an option yes. We will monitor him until Sunday and I will make a decision very late over what I will do.
[on the significance of missing Arteta][For] one game, we will find the resources to do without him if we have to. I’m convinced we can because he was out for a while during the season and I played all sorts of combinations.
Arteta was out and we played Ramsey and Wilshere. A few times I played Coquelin, Diaby so we had a few combinations that could work.
[on Giroud’s return] I’m happy to have him back. He has been out for a while now and missed some games so he will be full of enthusiasm and can help us at some stage. Is it from the start or coming on? I don’t know yet./blockquote>