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Pre-Spurs team news: Wenger on Coquelin, Mertesacker & Iwobi
Arsene Wenger has given an injury and team news update to Arsenal.com ahead of our Capital One Cup clash at Tottenham tomorrow night.
Unfortunately, the boss confirmed that Francis Coquelin will miss the game after suffering a knee injury against Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
The Frenchman was forced off at half-time and the injury was being further assessed today, but the boss is hopeful it’s nothing serious.
We’ve heard that before, most recently with Welbeck when we were told it was a minor injury only for him to be ruled out for seven months, so I’ll hold my breath on Coquelin until he’s back playing again.
Wenger also confirmed the good news that Mertesacker is back in contention after finally recovering from illness that’s kept him out of our last five games.
We’ll have to wait and see if the German is recalled to the starting eleven but I’d bring him in for Koscielny to give him a rest. Gabriel is available after his ban was overturned by the FA earlier today so he can play alongside Per.
The boss also revealed that he plans to play a strong side against Spurs but a couple of youngster should make the squad with Alex Iwobi among those in his thoughts.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
on the team news…
Francis Coquelin will be out and we have no major problems for anybody else. It should be a similar squad.
His knee is swollen and he is being assessed but we hope it is just a short-term problem
on Per Mertesacker…
He is available for selection, yes.
on if youngsters could feature…
Alex Iwobi. I want to keep the squad together. We go game by game so I will make changes, for sure. How many? I’ve not decided yet. It will be quite an experienced squad with one or two younger players.
He is in and out a little bit because we travel a lot. He is doing well.
I hope we do field a strong side as we simply can not afford to lose this game. Not only is it Tottenham, but we’ve lost our last two games, so I’d go with a team mixed with first team and second-string players – here’s my preferred line-up.