Laurent Koscielny is unlikely to be available for Arsenal’s trip to St. Mary’s on Wednesday as the Gunners go up against Southampton.
Arsenal are now back in with a great shout for a top-four finish in the latest iteration of the Premier League, after a convincing 2-0 win over Manchester United. And they can leapfrog Manchester United into fifth place with a win over Southampton on Wednesday.
However, Arsene Wenger has suffered a blow ahead of the game. Laurent Koscielny is scheduled to undergo a late fitness test and may not be available for the away trip. The manager also provided a similar update in his pre-match conference on Granit Xhaka while ensuring that Danny Welbeck was not injured over the weekend.
“Koscielny that he may not be available tomorrow. He will have a test today and we’ll make the decision after training. Xhaka is similar but he looks to have recovered quite well. The news for him is better but he will have a test as well today. he’s [Welbeck] OK.”
If indeed, Koscielny misses the fixture, we may see Arsene Wenger revert to a back four or he may opt to start Gabriel Paulista in the Frenchman’s stead. Hector Bellerin has been a casualty of Wenger’s shift to a 3-man central defence and it looks like the Spaniard may continue to start from the bench.
Xhaka has recovered well & might play tomorrow against Southampton
Lucas and Welbeck are both fit
— Arsenal Latest (@ArsenalsNews) May 9, 2017
However, Wenger did provide an update on Lucas Perez, stating that the player is back in training and the Spaniard could be selected in the matchday squad.
For Southampton, Matt Targett and Charlie Austin are both ruled out for the tie against Arsenal. However, not much changes are expected from the side that drew 0-0 with Liverpool on Sunday.
The only change might be in the attacking department, where Nathan Redmond could slot back into the starting lineup, with Sofiane Boufal the most likely player to be sacrificed.
The fixture promises to be an intriguing one as a win for Arsenal would catapult them to fifth while a Southampton victory will see them climb to eighth on the Premier League table.