Arsenal Team News Update: Wilshere & Koscielny

By on August 26, 2013

Arsenal welcome Turkish outfit Fenerbache to the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night and Arsene Wenger has given the latest team news ahead of the game.

The boss has confirmed that defender Laurent Koscielny is fit and in the squad after receiving a nasty cut above his right eye during the first leg last week, but it’s unclear whether he’ll start or not tomorrow.

Midfielder Jack Wilshere was rested for Saturday’s 3-1 win away at Fulham but Wenger also confirmed that he will return to the starting line-up against Fenerbache. Arsene told Arsenal.com:

on Laurent Koscielny…

“He is fit [after his cut to the head] and in the squad. I’ve not decided if I will start him or not.”

on Jack Wilshere, after resting him at Fulham…

“He will play tomorrow.”

Many fans have called for a weakened side to be fielded tomorrow after a 3-0 win in the first leg, particularly with Sunday’s big north London derby with Tottenham in mind. However, Wenger has revealed that he will keep the majority of the team together and will make a maximum of two changes form the side that beat Fulham.

“It will be stability in the team,” he said. “Maybe one or two who are a bit injured [will be rested], but 95 per cent of the team who played at Fulham will play [on Tuesday] night.”

“It will show consistency and, therefore, I’m already focused today to go into this game with full commitment. For me, top-level sport is just about consistency.

“It says it all [that I won’t rest players]. It shows how important it is to us. It’s of course a very, very, very important tie for us.

“We want to be in the group stage the next day, and that demands attitude and commitment and desire to play the game with full power, like we love to do.”

I don’t really get the idea of resting Wilshere for a tricky away game at Fulham but then starting him at home in a game where we hold a 3-0 lead from the first leg – especially with Spurs coming up. Surely it would have been better to start him at Fulham and rest him tomorrow so he has a full week’s rest going into the Spurs clash?  Also, I see no sense in risking Koscielny, so hopefully he’s only on the bench.

The problem we have given ourselves with the lack of transfer activity so far is we don’t have a strong enough squad to rotate, so while Wenger claims he’s going for ‘stability’ and that’s why he won’t change the team too much tomorrow. The real reason is he has very little option due to the lack of depth at the club.

Let’s just hope we get through this second leg with no fresh injuries as we can’t afford to lose any key players for Tottenham on Sunday.

What would be your preferred starting line-up for the game against Fenerbache?


  1. Dare michael

    August 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm


  2. John Gee

    August 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I am quite happy to leave team selection to Arsene Wenger. He knows more than the entire so called supporters put together. IN ARSENE WE TRUST.

  3. Abu Rahman

    August 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I don’t see any problem against Fernabache even if we field the players that played against Fulham. It will only keep them fitter and sharper for the weekend cracker against Spuds.

  4. Charles

    August 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    We need new players. our squad is real thin!!!!

  5. dougy onesmas

    August 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    its alright for kosy n wilshere to start tonight men!

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