Wenger reveals team news for Hull clash

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Arsene Wenger says Laurent Koscielny ‘is doing well’ after limping off with a dead leg during Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Leicester City last Sunday.

The centre-back’s minor problem, coupled with Gabriel’s hamstring problem, means the Gunners will likely field Calum Chambers alongside Per Mertesacker for this weekend’s FA Cup 5th round tie with Hull City, although the boss says news on the Frenchman is ‘positive’.

“Koscielny is doing well,” Wenger told Arsenal.com on Thursday. “He has a test this morning and he looks positive.”

On Gabriel, who was allowed to return to Brazil for treatment on an injury picked up last Friday, the boss added: “He is running outside. He is out for Saturday.”

“I will, as always, play a team who has a good chance to qualify. The normal squad is involved on Saturday. It is a normal squad and we’ll play a usual strong team.

“Elneny is fit. He is one of the players who could get a run [out] there. He’s mobile, he’s a very good player. He’s adapting at the moment and I think he’s there now. We’ll certainly see him against Hull. He has a chance to start.”

60 COMMENTS

  1. Good news news about the Boss especially. I hope he gets rested against Hull because we’re gonna need him for when those Catalonian cunts come to town next week. Chambers and Mert should be good enough for this weekend.

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    • Personally I’d rather make sure Kos was available for OT and the Lane. If he can’t be 100% sure of the Barca game then so be it. It’s all about the league.

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  2. I don’t want to jinx it but the injury gods are finally answering our prayers. Even Rooney got injured ahead of our clash with Man Utd which is good from an Arsenal perspective (whilst I would never wish pain on anyone) and he may be back for their game against Sp*rs and Leicester which would also be good. If the gods could also give mild injuries (maybe like an ingrown toenail, nothing too serious) to Mahrez, Vardy and Kane, that would be just super. Oh and Danny Mills, just because he is an arse.

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  3. Was very impressed with Chambers on Sunday, looking forward to seeing him again on Saturday. And Elneny. Would love to see us get 4 or 5 goals and really get the confidence flowing. A slightly less stressful weekend than last would be nice too.

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    • Arsenal, the only team that causes its supporters to get hernia surgery! Seriously though, would it be too much to ask for a by-the-numbers, feel-good thrashing of Hull? No complications, no injuries, no silly misses just a nice and breezy win. That should be an easy enough request right?

      P.S. Also, a confidence boosting 5-0 victory over Barca this Tuesday (with Hector scoring his first hat trick and revealing an Arsenal DNA t-shirt during his celebration while Fabregas cries audibly from the Spanish commentators desk) would also do me nicely.

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  4. Glad to see Chambers get more time at CB, definitely his best position and for me his long term future – his first 4-5 games for us were very impressive at CB. In midfield Coq and Elneny would be nice..that would leave a solid base for Iwobi to continue in the No. 10 role..

    Front three could be interesting, Welbeck, Walcott and Sanchez/Ox..I think starting Sanchez and giving him 60 mins or so would be good for him, he still looks a little rusty…lots of power up front with those combinations, looking forward to this, mini break from the league is nice!

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    • To be fair wouldnt mind seeing a bit of campbell as well. He did well in the last period. And to be fair we never really saw much of him before . Would be a shame to see his progress stutter. You never know maybe he is also a late bloomer and what we see now isnt all he will bring to the table.

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    • Yes but they have a similar priority to us and that’s winning the title. I think they would be happy to accept a dignified defeat, so that they can focus on promotion.

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    • They’re basically a lower/mid table Premiership team that couldn’t score enough last season.
      They seem to have fixed that problem now.
      It could be a tough game, but hopefully not.

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      • True that they’ve mostly fixed that scoring problem, but a good part of that fix won’t be playing Saturday – Chuba Akpom.

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    • I would definitely play Chambers ahead of Koscielny for this one. There’s no point in risking him, especially since we have some tough fixtures coming where we’ll need our best defender. In regards to Bellerin, he’s young and seems pretty durable so it won’t be a problem playing him. The FA cup is in a different league to the Carling Cup or whatever it’s called nowadays so I feel we should use more experience and obviously blood a couple youngsters agaisnt lower opposition.

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        • We all know what it’s a perfect opportunity for Debuchy to do!

          (I know, I know. That’s probably a bit harsh on a guy that hit a bad string of injuries to lose his place. I liked him in the squad until, yeah, Bellerin.)

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  5. I’d play ospina, Gibbs, chambers, mert, flamini, arteta, elneny, Walcott, iwobi, Campbell, welbeck. Strong but plenty of rotation….what it is to have a squad for a change!

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    • I agree with some rotation sure, but if we change everyone and put out a team who have not played a high intensity game together…well then we are asking for a even game at the very least.

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    • I was thinking the same thing Ross (bar Flamini coming for Arteta for no other reason than I forgot about him, as he is injured all the time), this lineup looks good and should be able to beat Hull. These are all seasoned players, except Iwobi but he should do well as he had a start before. Also Elneny should be raring to go, he will surely be a midfid dynamo. It would even things a bit, as you say Moses, but why not? These players have the quality and should show what they are made of, also they need game time. Barcelona is only 3 days away from Sat so we will need players with full batteries to be able to cope but also press for a win that we need to go for of course, we play at home and we can beat anyone on our day.

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    • Arteta won’t last 30 mins. Get the Coq in with Elneny and we will decent distribution power from deep. Also Sanchez should start. He needs time on the pitch. A goal or two will get his confidence up.

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  6. I would love to see Elneny and Coquelin in the middle again, but not sure if Wenger will start Coquelin so soon into his return with a midweek CL match ahead. Could be good for his conditioning, but also could be a bit too much too soon.

    We had better hope Chambers, Per and Bellerin stay healthy in the match as not many backup options to them. I guess Coquelin, Ramsey or Flamini could play RB in a pinch, but none are ideal. I guess Monreal would be the backup to the middle two.

    Looking forward to seeing Iwobi again, really enjoy watching him play. I hope Welbeck gets to start up top or if Theo does then Welbeck on the right.

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  7. While organised, team defending will certainly be vital against Barcelona, I see that match coming down to our finishing. We may only get 3-4 high quality goal scoring opportunities and need to net at least half of them.

    For now, let’s focus on hammering Hull City.

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    • I still harbour this feeling that we would have won the Champions League if Flam’d played the final at LEFT back instead of Cole coming back in. He’d been playing there for many of the latter stages if I remember rightly. Cole let Diving Alves go for their second.

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  8. We have 2 warm-up matches coming up. Hull and Barcelona. hope we do a 3-0 and 5-0. It could be in any order. Then we can continue with our PL title sweep.

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  9. not sure about all the hate for Chambers and Per – I was at the Leicester game and they were excellent together against a very dangerous attacking side. Chambers covered the pacey runner while Per did his usual excellent positioning and mopping up before danger struck. I doubt with Kos’s form at the moment, that he’d have done as well had he stayed on TBH

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  10. Team vs Hull
    Ospina
    Flamini
    Mertesacker
    Chambers
    Gibbs
    Elneny
    Arteta (if he’s fit)
    Chamberlain
    Iwobi
    Adelaide (aka “The Jeff”)
    Giroud.

    Team for Barcelona
    Cech
    Bellerin
    Mertesacker
    Koscielny (hopefully, his “dead leg” resurrects)
    Monreal
    Coquelin
    Ramsey
    Campbell
    Ozil
    Sanchez
    Walcott

    Only one (or 2) starter in both lineups (even with 2 CBs injured) shows our depth at the moment.

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  11. I will miss arsene when he finally takes the bow. I can’t see any other gaffer who can reel in your imagination in their press conferences like the boss.
    Usage of words like ‘koscielny is running outside’ as opposed to ‘koscielny is training’ will stick to the mind longer

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  12. I think a goal for sanchez would be a good thing what with the bitey and divey cunts coming next week. Iwobi and Elneny Theo Ox can do the job. There’s also Campbell.

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  13. Keeper – Ospina

    RB – If Calum slots in at Cback then obviously Bellerin
    LB – Gibbs
    CB pair – Per and Calum (Save koscielny for next game)

    DM – Flamini. Save Coquelin for next game. Again Flamini is a better player than many give him credit for
    CM – Elneny. Give him a run out.
    AM – Ozil. Let the playmaker do some damage first then protect him with Rambo on.

    RW – Campbell
    LW – Alexis. Let him do some destruction, he’s the sort of player who needs consistent match time to get lethal. Then replace with Iwobi if mission mostly accomplished.

    FW – Welbeck. Give Danny another 45 minutes. Then replace with Theo up top particularly if at least a goal up.

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