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Arsenal boss hints at changes vs Stoke, 22-year-old to start

By on May 12, 2017

Hector Bellerin arsenal

Arsene Wenger has hinted he’s ready to freshen-up his side as Arsenal look to keep alive our top four hopes with a win at Stoke on Saturday.

We’ve secured consecutive wins over Man Utd and Southampton over the past five days but with a third game coming up in quick succession, the boss is ready to make changes.

One change will be forced upon him as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss out tomorrow after picking up a hamstring injury at St Marys in midweek.

The good news is the injury doesn’t seem to be too serious as he’s expected to be fit for the FA Cup final later this month, however, the 23-year-old won’t feature against Stoke tomorrow.

It leaves a void to be filled in the right wing-back role and Wenger has admitted that Bellerin is fresh after starting just one of our previous six games.

The 22-year-old has taken his time to rediscover his best form following a niggling ankle injury but Wenger is backing the Spaniard to make an impact during the final games of the season.

The boss will also need to assess whether Laurent Koscielny is ready to return having missed the win at Southampton with a calf problem but the centre-back was able to train today.

Wenger is quoted as saying by the Belfast Telegraph:

“We have to recover now physically and see how everyone recovers for Saturday. I may need to make some changes: does Laurent Koscielny come back or not? How bad is Chamberlain? Bellerin is quite fresh.”

“He’s [Bellerin] an offensive player. He started as a right midfielder and was transformed into a full-back.

“Look, he’s a player who has a fantastic mentality. He went through a difficult period when he came back from his ankle injury, but I never questioned his attitude. He has great spirit.”

We’ll have to wait and see how many changes Wenger opts to make tomorrow but the likes of Gabriel, Elneny, Coquelin, Walcott and Giroud are all pushing for recalls.

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