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Team News: Wenger on Koscielny, The Ox, Bellerin, Walcott & Ramsey
It’s been another hectic day of team news at Arsenal HQ so I’ll bring you a round-up of all the latest info on the fitness of our squad…..
Arsene Wenger held his pre-match press conference on Thursday morning ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Hawthorns to face West Brom and it was mixed news on the injury front.
The positive news is that Bellerin is back in contention after recovering from a groin injury that saw him miss our last two matches. The Spaniard should come straight back in to the starting eleven – although I’d like to see him start on the right-wing.
Now on to the bad news. Unfortunately the boss also revealed that Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain are still unavailable for selection this weekend.
Rambo has been out with a hamstring for over a month while The Ox has missed our last three games with his own hamstring problem.
There were hopes that the duo would be fit enough to make the trip to the Hawthorn’s after the international break but Arsene has confirmed they won’t be available until after this weekend.
We’ll also have to wait a little while longer to see Theo Walcott as the attacker is still ‘a few weeks’ away from returning from his calf injury that he picked up against Sheffield Wednesday last month.
Theo is therefore still on the sidelines along with long-term injury victims Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky – who are all out until the New Year.
With such a lengthy injury list the last thing we need is to lose another key player but Arsene has confirmed that he intends to speak with Koscielny to see if he’s in the right state of mind to play this weekend.
Kos was playing at the Stade de France on Friday when the terror attacks took place in Paris and was clearly affected by the atrocities as he was out-of-sorts during France’s 2-0 loss to England on Tuesday, and the boss won’t take any risk with him if he’s not 100% focussed this weekend.
Here is what Arsene told Arsenal.com:
Hector is back in full training.
on Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain…
Ramsey should be available on Monday, and maybe Chamberlain as well.
He is doing well, he could be a bit ahead of schedule but still you count a few weeks more while Rosicky, Wilshere, Welbeck will be later.
on if Koscielny is in right state of mind for Saturday…
I will talk with him. It’s a big game for us. I have not talked to him yet, but I will talk to him to see if he’s completely recovered and focused.