Arsène Wenger has admitted that he may have to rotate his squad after a draining week has seen them play out of their skin and come from behind against Villa as well as giving everything in a challenging nil-nil draw with Bolton.
Gunners rising star Oxlade-Chamberlain has a slight problem ahead of this weekends fixture against Blackburn, which will inevitably lead to the youngster resting and taking his place on the bench at the most. On a more positive note, injury prone Kieran Gibbs is closing on a return to the first team and just requires some confidence and match experience with the Gunners reserves side.
Wenger revealed the latest information ahead of the Blackburn tie:
We have a little problem with Oxlade-Chamberlain that we have to check today [Friday] because his knee jarred a little bit and we will see how he has recovered from it. All of the other players look alright.
[on making changes for Saturday] A little bit yes because we gave a lot on Sunday against Villa and gave a lot against Bolton on Wednesday. I am thinking about it at the moment, yes.
[on Kieran Gibbs] Gibbs is nearly ready but what he lacks a little bit is confidence. He has not played since the beginning of October. He had two surgeries so I will have a little chat with him. He maybe needs a game with the reserves, I do not know yet.
It is a blow to hear that Oxlade-Chamberlain may have to sit out this must-win tie against Blackburn as he has produced two man of the match performances recently and has been a real asset to the side. But the English U21 star has played a substantial amount of games over the past couple of weeks so he is due a rest because Wenger will not want to overplay the 18-year-old incase he suffers from burnout after just breaking into the first team.
With Wenger thinking about rotating the squad, we may well see Robin Van Persie rested and start on the bench, perhaps Henry may start up front with Arshavin replacing Oxlade-Chamberlain. Who do you think will start tomorrow? Henry has yet to start a match for the Gunners during his loan spell, and it could be an exciting afternoon if he does which will provide a well earned breather for captain Van Persie.