Arsene Wenger has just three first-team players on the sidelines as Arsenal prepare to host Newcastle United at the Emirates on Saturday.
Arsenal will welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates on Saturday, hoping to return to winning ways after a run of three Premier League games without success. Ahead of the visit of the Magpies, Arsene Wenger has been buoyed by the return of Shkodran Mustafi.
The German centre-back has resumed training after spending two weeks on the sidelines due to a thigh injury he picked up in Arsenal’s loss to Manchester United. And the manager confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Mustafi is in contention to start on Saturday, although he will take a call on it ahead of the game.
“Mustafi is back in training today. I don’t know if I will include him tomorrow, it’s still a little gamble and apart from that we will have to see how everybody recovers. We’ll see today in training, but we have no basic problem.”
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Wenger also added that Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Theo Walcott (groin) are unavailable for Saturday’s game due to their respective injuries, with the former set to be sidelined for at least three weeks. The Arsenal boss, though, went on to say that Walcott could return for the midweek cup tie against West Ham.
“Of course Aaron Ramsey will not be available, I said that he will be out for a little longer and that will be maybe three weeks that he is not in contention. He [Walcott] had a little groin problem. He would have been in the squad at West Ham.”
“He will not be available tomorrow I think as well. It’s not a bad one. I think he has a little chance to be available against West Ham [on Tuesday].”
Ramsey’s absence could bode well for Jack Wilshere, who made his first Premier League start of the season on Wednesday against West Ham, and is in line for a continued run in the starting lineup. Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette are expected to return to the eleven, after starting on the bench in the midweek game.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, on the other hand, will be without two players on Saturday, with Aleksandar Mitrovic on the treatment table due to a back injury and Jonjo Shelvey serving the first of his two-match ban following his dismissal against Everton.