LONDON (Sporting Alert) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger left Jack Wilshere on the bench for today’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Blackburn at Emirates Stadium.
The England midfielder has been bothered by a thigh problem and Wenger has decided to play it cautious and start with him as a substitute today.
However, captain Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) and center-back partner defender Laurent Koscielny (calf) both start after coming through fitness tests.
Forward Gervinho, back from the Africa Cup of Nations, starts in the attack alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud.
Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby start in midfield, but Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski all start on the bench.
In total, Wenger made seven changes to his side for this afternoon’s clash.
Arsenal v Blackburn FA Cup Teams
Szczesny, Coquelin, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Monreal, Diaby, Rosicky, Arteta, Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud.
Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski
Kean, Orr, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson, Pedersen, Williamson, Lowe, Markus Olsson, Kazim-Richards, Rhodes
Subs: Usai, Givet, Fabio Nunes, Rekik, Nuno Gomes, Goodwillie, Bentley