Arsene Wenger provided Gunners fans with some good news ahead of the clash with Watford, claiming a number of players are set to return for the Premier League tie (via Arsenal.com).
Matchday: Match Preview – Team News – Betting Preview
Match: Arsenal v Watford
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Kick-Off (GMT): Tue 31 Jan 19:45
It was pleasing to see Arsenal progress to the next round of the FA Cup on the weekend but now we return to the Premier League and a crucial week for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger provided a good start for Arsenal fans. The Frenchman used his pre-match press conference to claim that every player who missed the FA Cup clash against Southampton is fit and ready to play – barring Granit Xhaka.
“We have some players to check from Saturday,” Wenger told the press. “Of course all the players who stayed behind other than Granit Xhaka are available for selection. I will decide that after training today.”
That part was straightforward enough but one thing which isn’t is the fitness of Danny Welbeck. The forward made his first start on the weekend but after so long out, there are questions over whether he should play against Watford, despite his excellent performance.
“He’s very sharp but we’re still not out of it completely,” Wenger said of the forward. “We still have to be cautious with him.
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“Where I agree is that physically he is ready to play. We still have to manage the times we use him and the times we rest him for a while. We will do that in the next month and then after, hopefully, he will be completely fit.
“he has done enough to keep his place but at the moment we have to be cautious with him. I’m not sure how we use him. Every three days? I think he’s a bit short [of fitness] for that. The quality of the performance was there.”
Wenger isn’t wrong there. Welbeck’s performance at the weekend would’ve been mightily impressive if he hadn’t been injured for the last eight months. The forward would be straight back in the starting lineup if he wasn’t recovering from injury.
So it’s good news ahead of the clash with Watford. The fears over the fitness of Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin and Mesut Özil have all but been removed and it seems that almost everyone else is fit too. Arsene Wenger has a serious selection headache ahead of the clash which is music to the ears of most Arsenal fans.