Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will not be risked by Arsenal for their UEFA Champions League fixture against Monaco.
The England international returned to training this month and made the bench against Crystal Palace in Arsenal’s last Premier League game, but manager Arsene Wenger said it’s unlikely that he’ll play.
“The only uncertainty I have at the moment is Jack Wilshere,” Wenger said yesterday.
“He was rested [for training] because he trained hard until now. No, it’s not a setback but I don’t think [he’ll play against Monaco].
“Everybody else is available. [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned to full training], yes.”
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s form has been patchy and Wenger did not reveal when asked on who will start in goal, a I cannot tell you that today,” he said.
When asked on Szczesny starting, he said,a Only 11 players can start the game but thata s the same for every player.”
Wenger went on to add that David Ospina had trained and was fit, an indication that the Colombian could start ahead of Szczesny, “He is fit. Hea s trained.”
The Londoners will be without Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Mikel Arteta (ankle), Abou Diaby (calf) and Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) who remain their long-term absentees.
For Monaco, manager Leonardo Jardim will have to wait and see if left back Layvin Kurzawa and winger Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco can pass late fitness tests to play against the gunners.
Midfielders Jeremy Toulalan and Tiemou Bakayoko and defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Andrea Raggi will miss the clash and their absence will hurt the Ligue 1 outfit.
Wenger’s men have been in good form at home and are expected to beat Monaco and take a lead into the second leg. Part of the reason as to why they have been so good is the presence of Francis Coquelin. The Frenchman has added balance to the Arsenal midfield that always lacked a natural defensive midfielder. With the Gunners’ high tempo attacking football, they were always susceptible to counter attacks, but that has been diminished by the presence of Coquelin who is good in breaking up play.
Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud have been brilliant for Arsenal from the attacking front, especially the Spaniard. Cazorla has three goals and three assists in his last five Premier League games. Monaco will have to stop him if they are to stop Arsenal. Giroud has been brilliant since returning from the foot injury and has helped Arsenal reach the top four again. He is yet to play in the Champions League and will want to make his presence count.