Arsene Wenger has just two players unavailable as Arsenal prepare to host West Ham United at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Arsenal will aim to clinch progression to the semifinals of the League Cup for the seventh time under Arsene Wenger when they welcome West Ham United to the Emirates on Tuesday. Ahead of the cup tie, the French manager has been encouraged by his squad’s easing injury problems.
The Gunners are now without just two first-team players, with Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) recovering from their respective injuries. But, Theo Walcott (groin) and Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) are fit and available after recovering from their problems.
Wenger gave a brief update on Ramsey, Mustafi and Walcott in his pre-match press conference. At the same time, the Arsenal boss also confirmed that Walcott will start on Tuesday, while Mustafi will be given an opportunity to rest for Friday’s crucial game against Liverpool.
Arsenal v West Ham:
Wenger says Aaron Ramsey was out running today and will return at the beginning of January.
Shkodran Mustafi is back in training but won’t feature tomorrow night.
Theo Walcott is “100 per cent” and will play against West Ham. pic.twitter.com/hcUWzVuBCu
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 18, 2017
“Ramsey was out running [on Monday] but he will not be back in the next 10 days. For him, the beginning of January is more likely. Shkodran is back again. I will not use him on Tuesday but he’s available again. Theo is 100 per cent, he will play on Tuesday.”
Apart from Walcott, several other fringe players are expected to start on Tuesday, with Wenger often preferring to give minutes to the second string and youth players in the League Cup over the years. And the manager confirmed the same, iterating that he will play a heavily rotated side on Tuesday.
“Some players are a little bit on the edge. I think as well that we have so many quality players who did not start on Saturday, so you cannot say that you prefer to play a player who has played three games in six days to a guy who is at the same level and is completely fresh.”
“The players who will start are basically all international players, so that’s why I think [squad rotation] makes sense. You have as well to show the trust and the confidence that we have in the players who did not start last week.”
West Ham manager David Moyes, on the other hand, has no such luxury, with Sam Byram, Jose Fonte, Cheikhou Kouyate and Edimilson Fernandes already on the sidelines, and Mark Noble, Pablo Zabaleta and Mark Arnautovic major doubts. Manuel Lanzini is the 8th player unavailable due to suspension.