Arsene Wenger has given Arsenal fans a boost in his pre-match press conference, claiming that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared (via Arsenal.com).
Matchday: Team News – Predicted Lineup – Match Highlights
Match: Stoke City v Arsenal
Kick-Off (GMT): Sat 13 May 17:30
Arsenal have been deploying the 3-4-3 formation with considerable success in recent weeks. It’s five wins from six for the Gunners since they first used the system away at Middlesbrough last month.
One man who has benefitted more than anyone else from the change in shape is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The winger turned central midfielder has been deployed at right wing-back for the Gunners and has put in a string of excellent performances which have kept Hector Bellerin out of the team.
Unfortunately, the Ox seemed to pick up a nasty hamstring injury in the midweek match against Southampton. It was thought he would miss the rest of the season but Arsene Wenger confirmed in his pre-match press conference that those reports are a little premature.
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“It’s a minor hamstring problem,” Wenger told the press. “It was tight, but it was more fatigue.”
The boss also had something to say about Laurent Koscielny who missed the match at Southampton.
“He’s got a small chance [of returning against Stoke]. He was not far. He practised on Tuesday but it was risky to play him at Southampton.”
So it’s good news on the injury front as far as Arsenal are concerned. The defence looked good against the Saints but it did seem to be lacking Koscielny’s leadership at times. Similarly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of Arsenal’s main attacking threats since switching to right wing-back. The Gunners fans will want to see both players back in action as soon as possible.