Wenger confirms key trio will miss FA Cup but 28-year-old will start

By on January 5, 2017

alexis sanchez arsenal

Arsene Wenger has given an insight in to his team selection for Arsenal’s FA Cup clash with Preston North End this weekend.

We head to Deepdale in the third round on Saturday evening and the boss has confirmed that he’ll field a strong side that will be made up of around 90% first team players.

However, Laurent Koscielny is set to be given a rest after the French international limped out of our 3-3 draw at Bournemouth on Tuesday night with cramps in both his legs.

Gabriel came on for Kos at the Vitality Stadium and is expected to start at Preston – although Rob Holding will be another option for Wenger if he wants to give Shkodran Mustafi a breather.

Alexis Sanchez is also set to be handed a well-earned rest as the boss looks to give our star man a break following the hectic Christmas and New Year period that saw the Chilean play the full ninety minutes against WBA, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth.

Mesut Ozil will also sit out our FA Cup clash with Preston this weekend as the German international continues to work his way back to full fitness following a bout of flu.

Ozil has missed our last two games because of the illness and is due to be assessed by the club doctor having returned to London Colney today, however, Arsene won’t be rushing him back in to action on Saturday.

One player will will start against Preston is David Ospina after Wenger confirmed that the 28-year-old Colombian international will replace Petr Cech between the sticks this weekend.

The boss told Arsenal.com:

on Ozil…
He is coming in today, and will be assessed by the doctor but he has been in bed for two weeks so I cannot imagine I will involve him on Saturday. It is flu, a throat infection – I don’t know exactly.

on the squad he will take…
We will play with 90 per cent of the squad, I will rest Koscielny because he came off with fatigue, of course Ospina will play, maybe Alexis I will rest certainly, but the rest will play.

As we reported earlier, Francis Coquelin has been ruled out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury, Lucas Perez is a doubt with an ankle problem while Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are also still out so we’ll have a number of players missing for the trip to Deepdale.


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