Arsene Wenger has confirmed all action midfielder Jack Wilshere is available for selection but refused to be drawn on whether the Englishman will start against Reading in the FA Cup semi final this weekend at Wembley.
The Englishman has yet to make an appearance for the first team since sustaining a nasty ankle injury in November 2014 during the 2-0 loss to Manchester United. However after two successful run outs for Arsenal’s U21 side, the midfielder is fit and available for selection.
Despite already having an array of options in midfield, Wenger looks set to have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in the mix within the next two weeks too while captain Mikel Arteta is not far off as he steadily regains match fitness.
Wenger confirmed the following team news via Arsenal’s official website:
We have a big squad available for selection and we just have Arteta (match fitness) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) unavailable. Everybody else should be alright.
[Oxlade-Chamberlain] He’s at least two weeks away.
[Wilshere] He has improved physically and I think he is available for selection on Saturday.
Wenger confirmed Wojciech Szczesny will start between the sticks at Wembley a year after missing out on last season’s successful cup run. The Gunners boss wants to maintain his senior goalkeeper’s match sharpness and continues his tradition of using the ‘second choice’ shot stopper in domestic cup competitions.
It will be Szczesny [who plays] on Saturday.
He has played in the last round. This season he has played at Man United and he had a very good performance. I believe it’s important that the two goalkeepers get competition and he will get competition in the FA Cup now, as long as Ospina plays in the Premier League.
This Saturday is a fantastic chance for Sczcesny to stake a claim for the remainder of the season and potentially save his Arsenal career which looks far from certain at this point. He performed well against Brighton and then Manchester United, so he will be up for extending his role in the team for one more visit to Wembley this campaign.
Massive boost to have Wilshere back in the mix, the dynamic midfielder certainly will not walk back into the team but it is fantastic to have options and depth in almost all positions.
Predicted lineup to follow…