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Team News: Wenger On Rosicky, Wilshere, Gibbs, Cazorla + Giroud
Bayern Munich arrive at the Emirates tomorrow night for the first leg of our Champions League last 16 clash.
Arsene Wenger has been at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s confirmed that we have no fresh injuries for the match.
The boss rested several first team players for the FA Cup win over Liverpool on Sunday so he could make as many as seven changes for Wednesday’s game.
Thomas Rosicky was left out of the squad entirely at the weekend and Arsene has confirmed the Czech international will return against Bayern and take the place of the suspended Mikel Arteta.
Wenger: "All the players have recovered from Sunday. Arteta is suspended, Rosicky comes into the group for him. That will be the squad."
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) February 18, 2014
Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs are also expected to be recalled after being left out against Liverpool. Arsene claimed after the game that Jack was suffering from a stiff back while Kieran had a minor muscular problem, but the duo are fit to start against the Germans.
Santi Cazorla was a second half substitute after being struck down by illness on Thursday but he should start tomorrow night, while Olivier Giroud is certain to come back in having been rested against the Merseysiders.
It will be interesting to see who the substitute striker will be on the bench. Youngster Yaya Sanogo was surprisingly handed his debut ahead of Nicklas Bendtner on Sunday and you wouldn’t bet against him keeping his place in the squad after an impressive outing.
Here’s what Arsene told Arsenal.com on Sunday night.
On fitness issues…
Jack Wilshere had a stiff back, after that Cazorla was ill, Gibbs had a little muscular problem, Sagna was tired. But I kept the defensive stability with Mertesacker and Koscielny. I rested Rosicky completely. They will be OK for Wednesday, but we lose Arteta, who is suspended for Wednesday night.
on Olivier Giroud being rested…
He looked a bit tired and… I know where you [the reporters] want to lead me, slowly but surely… he has made a statement and we will deal with it internally. I don’t think there is much more to add to that because I want to respect his privacy as well. I haven’t seen it [his statement].
on Nicklas Bendtner…
Yes of course [he is disappointed not to be in the squad]. He works very hard, very well, but I wanted to give a chance to Sanogo, and I think overall the performance of Sanogo justified it. Bendtner is fit at the moment, and sharp.
So no new injuries which means Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen, Kim Kallstrom and Abou Diaby are the ‘missing men’, along with the suspended Arteta.
It’s going to be a MASSIVE game for the club tomorrow night, not only in terms of trying to qualify for the last 8 of the Champions League but also in maintaining the confidence within the squad.
I’ll have my preferred starting line-up published shortly….