Arsene Wenger has revealed that Laurent Koscielny could be fit to play this weekend as his calf injury has been deemed not as bad as first thought.
Thomas Vermaelen will however miss Saturday’s tie with Sunderland as he has failed to recover from his ankle injury, while Kieran Gibbs has been ruled out for a massive four to six weeks. Luckily Monreal was able to be acquired on deadline day.
Wenger has also admitted that he could get creative with centre half pairing with youngster Miquel the most obvious option however Sagna could well be shifted centrally to allow Jenkinson to come in on the right.
Sagna’s positioning is sometimes unreliable at right back, so Miquel seems the preferable option especially as the Spaniard has waited patiently for another first team appearance amidst rumours from other clubs interested in his services. Sagna would however add pace with Mertesacker slower than most people’s grandma.
Wenger revealed the following team news:
[on Kieran Gibbs] Kieran is a few more weeks away. Still four to six weeks really.
[on Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen] Koscielny had a scan that was quite reassuring so he will have a test today [Friday]. It is a calf problem. Vermaelen is out with his ankle injury.
[on defensive options] The options are restricted, I will have to be creative. We have Iggy Miquel, we have Sagna who can play there and Jenkinson on the right, so we will see. But we have very good hope that Koscielny will be available.
[on Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey] Francis still has a little pain at the back of his hamstring. I don’t think he will be with us on Saturday but I’ll have to check that today [Friday]. Aaron Ramsey is OK.
[on Gervinho] Gervinho has arrived back [from the Africa Cup of Nations] on Friday but he is not in the squad for Sunderland. We have given him five days off.