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Wenger’s team news: duo passed fit but key man faces late test
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Per Mertesacker and Gabriel should be available for Arsenal’s FA Cup quarter final with Watford on Sunday but Laurent Koscielny faces a late fitness test.
Mertesacker was a doubt for the game after being forced off with a head injury during our 4-0 fifth round replay victory over Hull City in midweek.
The German defender is understood to have suffered slight concussion as well as a cut to his eye but thankfully Wenger had said there is nothing to worry about so Per should face Watford on Sunday.
Gabriel’s injury looked more serious as he limped off at the KC Stadium with a suspected hamstring injury. However, Arsene says there is ‘nothing wrong’ with the Brazilian so he should also be in the squad this weekend.
Koscielny’s availability on Sunday is less certain as Wenger says the Frenchman will have a late fitness test as he looks to return from a four-game absence with a niggling calf problem, although the boss seems to suggest it’s unlikely Kos will be risked.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
on the team news…
We had a few injuries at Hull – Gabriel, Mertesacker and Ramsey. Mertesacker and Gabriel are very positive, there is nothing wrong there, they are both good.
on Laurent Koscielny…
He is not far, he will have tests until Sunday, but it could come too soon. He has a little chance.
It’s a big relief that Per and Gabriel’s injuries aren’t serious and they can face Watford as we were facing a real crisis in defence otherwise. There’s no point risking Koscielny on Sunday so I hope we don’t push him and give him time to recover for next weeks Champions League clash with Barcelona.