Arsène Wenger has given the latest Arsenal team news ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s late kickoff at Upton Park. The main news for our match against West Ham is that Per Mertesacker will have a late test to see if he has overcome a bout of flu that kept him out in midweek against Olympiakos.
There are also some short updates on Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere, who are both returning to action with the reserves/U21s following long-term injuries.
The good news is that we have no new injury concerns from Wednesday night. Mikel Arteta seemed to come through the game without any major problems and there is no indication that he won’t be fit to start tomorrow.
“He is better. He came in on Thursday and had a little session. He’ll have a test. It is not certain that he will play.
“It is flu that has travelled from body to body. We have had Coquelin, Vermaelen, Walcott out. But nobody else has it at the moment.”
“Maybe he will play on Monday night [for the under-21s]. He needs some games because he has not played for five months. He has been in training for a week now so he should be capable of playing for an hour.”
“Jack is doing very well but we need to be a bit patient. He has played 60 minutes in the reserve team and he needs a few games, progressive build-up to get his body used again to competition, to shocks, to fights.
“But he is doing extremely well, the situation looks very good. We have to be cautious, not crazy, because of his talent you are always pushed in a situation where you would like to rush him back, and we have to resist that.
“The next match should be next week and he is working very very hard [in training]. The body is like that, when you have been out of competition for 14 months it takes a long time to find your sharpness back. You cannot rush it.”
Other team news
“There is nothing else. Wojciech and Fabianski are not back so Martinez will be back in the squad as the second goalkeeper.”
Match preview (including our predicted Arsenal starting line-up) tomorrow. This match and next week’s game against Norwich will be shown live on ESPN.