The centre back suffered from tendinitis in his knee when he woke up prior to last weekends match against Aston Villa and consequently was unable to take the field that day. But Wenger remains confident that he will be able to play in tomorrows fixture, however Diaby is not so fortunate after he felt some pain, meaning the frenchman will not be risked.
Wenger also discussed his three match UEFA ban that will see the Frenchman banished from the sidelines for either Arsenal’s qualifying matches or opening group matches. Wenger said at his pre-match press conference on Friday:
On Laurent Koscielny:
Normally he will back. He has a test with the team later today. But he had one yesterday and it looks positive. It is 90 per cent yes. So at QPR it should be the same squad.
On Abou Diaby:
There was a little pain in training yesterday so we will not expose him. It is nothing serious, we are just being cautious.
- Vote: Who do you want Arsenal to draw in the Europa League?
- [Team news] Arsenal line up vs Benfica – Odegaard out and Partey fit
- Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote’s bid to takeover Arsenal ‘edging closer’
On appealing his three match ban:
If I am [suspended] then it is not justified and I will appeal straight away.
I believe that when you have 25 years [experience] in Europe you can still ask the referee that you can have some discussion with him. It is very difficult to understand.
At the moment I have difficulties with UEFA and I can take what is wrong on my side but in these different situations I think they go a little bit overboard if they suspend me.
The loss of Wenger hopefully shouldn’t affect the side too severely after they managed to make do without him for the Udinese matches last year. The Frenchman’s ban should be reduced as it was a relatively minor altercation, but with UEFA charging Wenger earlier this season perhaps they will stand staunch and nail him with the three match ban.
But anyway the news of Koscielny’s fitness is a huge boost ahead of the London clash, with the Frenchman forming a strong partnership with Vermaelen in the heart of the defence. The duo have failed to loose a game this season when they both are deployed as centrebacks and may that run continue this weekend!