Arsene Wenger gave mixed injury news ahead of the North London derby on Sunday.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the manager revealed Laurent Koscielny will definitely miss the Sunday game after failing to absorb any of the tests on Friday. While on Theo Walcott and Gervinho, the manager said a decision will be made either today or on Sunday with Walcott having more of a chance to be available. Arsene Wenger also confirmed Squillaci and Benayoun are completely fit and back with the squad with Squillaci short on match fitness only.
On an update on Thomas Vermaelen, the manager revealed a delay in his recovery from the surgery. Vermaelen now will join the squad one or two weeks after the international break.
Meanwhile, with Arsenal short on defenders at the moment, Arsene Wenger said he is tempted to start with Alex Song in defence but hasn’t decided it yet with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also having a possibility to be in the team.
Arsene Wenger on Friday said:
[Laurent] Koscielny looks to be definitely out for Sunday, it looks short for him. He couldn’t absorb any test today [Friday]. For [Theo] Walcott and Gervinho a decision will be made on Saturday or Sunday. The most likely to be fit of the two looks to be Walcott. [Yossi] Benayoun and [Sebastien] Squillaci are completely fit. Squillaci lacks match fitness, Benayoun does not.
It will be a fraction longer than expected [before Thomas Vermaelen returns]. He will not be straight back [in the squad] after the international break. It will be one or two weeks later.
[Alex Song in defence?] Squillaci will not be fit enough to start the game. If I am tempted I can answer honestly ‘yes’. Will I do it? Honestly I don’t know yet.
[Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] He is a possibility to be in the squad, I haven’t picked the team yet.