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Team News Update: Wenger On Welbeck, The Ox, Arteta & Debuchy
It’s been another busy day of team news at Arsenal so I’ll bring you a round-up of all the latest updates ahead of our FA Cup final with Aston Villa this weekend.
Arsene Wenger held his pre-match press conference this morning and gave Arsenal.com an update on the fitness of Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy ahead of Saturday’s big game.
Let’s start with the bad news and the boss confirmed that Welbeck won’t be available for the final after failing to recover from his knee injury in time.
The 24-year-old has missed our last five games with the problem and there were hopes last week that Danny would return to full training soon to put himself in contention.
However, it seems the bone bruising is refusing to shift and Welbeck will not only miss the FA Cup final, but he’s also been ruled out of England’s upcoming double-header, too.
Now for the more positive news…..The boss confirmed that Arteta is back in full training but it remains to be seen whether the Spaniard will return to the squad on Saturday. I suspect he’ll just miss out as he’s not played in over six months.
The Ox is also considered fit and available after making his long-awaited comeback with a late cameo appearance against West Brom on Sunday.
Arsene says he still lacks ‘competition’ so I’d be shocked if he started against Villa, but expect the 21-year-old to be among the substitutes.
Debuchy is another who’s returned to full fitness but once again, I don’t think he’s considered fit enough to start this weekend so a place on the bench is the best he can hope for.
Here is what Arsene said today:
on the latest…
Danny Welbeck is out still. He will not be fit for us or for England. That’s basically the only injury we have at the moment. Everyone else is available. Arteta is back in full training. We have no new injuries from the weekend.
on how much Arsenal will miss Welbeck…
He would have been short anyway so I was prepared for that. When I saw Roy Hodgson last we were both confident that Welbeck would be available but we called the FA yesterday to explain that his bone bruising at the knee was not healed and that he absolutely had to rest.
on Mathieu Debuchy and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain…
They are available. They are short of competition but available