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Team News: Wenger Confirms Ozil & Giroud Are Doubts To Face Marseille
Arsenal travel to France tomorrow to take on Marseille on Wednesday night and manager Arsene Wenger has given Arsenal.com the latest team news ahead of the game.
The main injury worry was Olivier Giroud after he was forced off in the final minutes of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Sunderland with what appeared to be a knee problem.
Wenger was concerned after the match that his striker may have done some damage but Giroud eased concerns over his fitness first saying on Twitter that his knee was OK before being quoted in the Daily Mail this morning as saying he will be fit to face Marseille:
‘It is not bad actually, not as bad as I first feared. I got a kick earlier in the game but no-one was near me when I did it this time.
‘I tried to connect with the ball a little bit too early and I caught my foot in the grass. I twisted my ankle but fortunately, it is nothing major.
‘I am OK, sure I will be fine [for Marseille].’
However, it appears Arsene is less optimistic with the boss telling the clubs official website this afternoon that he will make a late call on whether to start Giroud and hinted he may play Theo Walcott through the middle if the Frenchman misses out.
There is also a slight doubt over the availability of new signing Mesut Ozil after he played through sickness to put in a star show during his debut on Saturday.
It seems the game has taken it’s toll on the playmaker, with Wenger revealing that he has some ‘tight muscles’, but the club are optimistic he’ll be able to play on Wednesday.
The good news is that defender Per Mertesacker is available again after missing the weekend action through illness, although it remains to be seen whether he’ll come straight back in after Bacary Sagna put in another assured display in the centre of defence.
Here’s what Wenger told Arsenal.com.
on Olivier Giroud….
We have a few problems. Some with Ozil but the main one is Giroud, who has a knee problem. He will have a test tomorrow and hopefully he will be fit. But it will only be decided tomorrow.
on options up front if Giroud is ruled out…
I have not really thought about it that much but the obvious solution is Walcott. We’ll see.
on Per Mertesacker…
There is good news. Mertesacker will be available again after illness.
on Mesut Ozil…
He was ill and has some tight muscles after Saturday. But I think he will be OK. We are optimistic.
Hopefully Giroud is passed fit as we will not be the same attacking threat if Walcott is forced to play through the middle. His skills are best utilised when he’s got space in front of him to exploit, not playing as a sole striker with his back to goal.
Now we’ve seen the team news, what would be your starting eleven for the game?