Thomas Vermaelen is fit to play against Chelsea this Saturday after he missed the Manchester City tie at the last minute due to suffering from the flu, while number one Wojciech Szczesny is set to miss the next two-three weeks as the ankle injury continues to sideline the youngster.
Vito Mannone will continue between the sticks as Fabianski’s bad luck with injuries continues, however the Gunners defence will certainly look even stronger in the coming weeks with the return of first choice right back Bacary Sagna to full training.
The following team news was revealed on Arsenal’s official website:
[on the latest team news] Thomas Vermaelen is available again for selection. Apart from that, I think from last Sunday at Man City and from Wednesday night we have only good news because everyone should be available for Saturday’s game.
[on returning players] We have Sagna who is back in full training, we have Wilshere and Frimpong back in full training, but of course they will not be available for Saturday.
We have still Szczesny injured, Fabianski injured, but the others should be alright. Tomas Rosicky is two weeks away, he is not far away. Szczesny is two to three weeks away.
Apart from the lack of goalkeepers Arsenal’s fortunes with injuries seems to have changed for now (touchwood). The return of Sagna and Wilshere especially will strengthen the squad depth significantly, however the recovering duo will still require a week or so before they will be available for selection.
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Wilshere is set to feature for the U21 side which will be a big boost for his confidence and match fitness, while Sagna will need time to adjust to playing once again after a lengthy spell suffering from a broken leg.
The biggest boost ahead of the Chelsea fixture is the return of Thomas Vermaelen to the squad. After a brilliant display by Koscielny hopefully the pair can be Wenger’s first choice pairing for this weekends vital fixture.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Mertesacker should be benched for the first time this season in the League? He has performed admirably, but Vermaelen and Kosc are both agile and powerful which will be needed to overcome the likes of Mata, Hazard and Oscar.