Arsene Wenger looks likely to have a very bare squad to chose from ahead of their massive semi-final at Wembley for the FA Cup against Wigan, with Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain now joining the forever growing list of casualties.
Kieran Gibbs missed the trip to Goodison Park due to a knock sustained in the wake of the home tie with Manchester City and remains a doubt, while two players expected to play a big part in the tie in The Ox and Rosicky could be joining the left back on the sideslines for arguably Arsenal’s biggest game of the season so far.
There is some positive news however as Aaron Ramsey is set to start against Wigan, while Laurent Koscielny could be available to face West Ham on Tuesday. Mesut Ozil’s return is nearing also and he could be back in the mix next weekend.
Wenger revealed the following team news ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final:
[On the latest team news] I cannot give you concrete team news because we have so many uncertainties about Chamberlain (groin), Gibbs (ankle), Rosicky (thigh). There will be last-minute decisions on those three players. They are all 50:50.
[on Ozil and Koscielny] Ozil and Koscielny are still out. I think the earliest to come back for Koscielny could be Tuesday and for Ozil it could be next Saturday. That would be a boost because at the moment we have too many players out and it’s important we get them back. We know that at this period of the season, the number of players we had out is too many.
[on Diaby] Diaby is back to full training next week. He could be available soon, maybe in a couple of weeks.
[on Ramsey] He is ready to start and certainly I will decide to start him because Flamini is suspended.
[on Wilshere] It’s all going well but he has not started to run. I think that’s planned for next week. At the moment all is going well.
Szcznesy remains the club number one, but compatriot Fabianski has been utilized in the domestic Cup competitions. Wenger confirmed there are set to be no changes between the sticks for this weekend’s trip to Wembley.
Fabianski will play in goal. It’s not a difficult decision because it’s a decision that has been made for a long time.
[on whether Fabianski would play in the final] Let’s play on Saturday. You play football on your merit and your performance and he has turned up with top-level performances until now in every single game. He has done extremely well. He has been man of the match in the three games he has played.
Predicted lineup to follow..