There were real concerns over the number of defensive injuries we had heading into Watford this weekend, but the pictures from training suggest we’ve had a huge boost ahead of our FA Cup clash.
Gabriel Paulista and Per Mertesacker both went off injured against Hull in our FA Cup replay this past Tuesday, and we looked set to be left dangerously short of centre-back options ahead of this weekend’s game. Laurent Koscielny was already unavailable and wasn’t included in the squad at all.
All three have been pictured training prior to our quarter-final match against Watford though, which is unquestionably a huge boost.
Check out the images below:
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Mertesacker always looked likely to be available, with the German merely taking a knock to the head against Hull. Koscielny and Gabriel were slightly more worrying, with the injuries suffered a little more unclear.
It seems like Arsene Wenger will have all his central defensive options available though, and can pick any two from Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gabriel, or Calum Chambers.
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The manager has been experimenting slightly in the FA Cup this season, using it as a chance to rest the likes of Mesut Özil while giving youngsters like Alex Iwobi an opportunity. At this point in the competition and with the Champions League seemingly now a lost cause though, will Wenger put out the big guns against Watford?