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TEAM NEWS: Wenger On The Ox, Welbeck, Diaby, Gnabry & Bellerin
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has given a team news update ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Unfortunately, it sounds like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to miss the game as Arsene revealed the midfielder is still struggling with a groin problem.
The Ox will face a late fitness test but the boss isn’t sure if he’ll be passed fit to be in contention.
Hector Bellerin will also need a late test on an ankle problem but thankfully it sounds like the Spanish youngster should make it.
Arsene also gave an update on forgotten winger Serge Gnabry and it’s good to hear that he’s finally back to full fitness after a knee injury kept him out for almost a year.
The German youngster is back in full training but will turn out for the U-21′s before he’s a considered for first team duty.
Danny Welbeck’s injury woes continue as he’s still nursing a thigh injury and will miss at least another two games before he’ll be back in contention.
As I reported earlier, new signing Krystian Bielik won’t be available for around three weeks as he’s lacking fitness after the winter break in Poland.
Finally, the boss gave an update on poor Abou Diaby with the Frenchman still out injured, this time with a calf injury, and he isn’t even close to being in contention.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
on the team news…
We have some uncertainties about Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin but they will have tests today and Bellerin should be available. Oxlade-Chamblerlain, I’m not sure.
on Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin…
Oxlade-Chamberlain has an inflammation of his groin problems and Bellerin is an ankle problem.
on Serge Gnabry…
Gnabry is back in full training but he needs games in the under-21s because he’s been out for a very long time. He looks quite promising again physically, and fitness-wise he is okay.
on Danny Welbeck…
Danny is still out. I think he will need two more games to be back again. He’s not in full training yet.
on whether Krystian Bielik is in his plans for Brighton…
No, not at all. He’s only just come from Poland. He has just turned 17, is not fit because they had a winter break in Poland and that is quite long. He’s at the start of getting back to full fitness. He won’t be ready before three weeks.
on Abou Diaby…
He is still injured. At the moment he is not in a position where he will be able to play soon because he is not on the field at all.
Hopefully The Ox will pass his fitness test. If not he’ll join Arteta, Wilshere, Debuchy, Diaby, Welbeck and Gnabry in missing the game.