LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will welcome back goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny after the Poland first choice recovered from a rib injury for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League game against Southampton.
However, there are still doubts over the availability of England winger Theo Walcott French midfielder Abou Diaby for the clash at Emirates Stadium.
Walcott was forced to miss England’s 2014 World Cup qualifier draw with Ukraine in midweek because of a virus, while Diaby, who has been very impressive since returning injury this season, could be out of this contest after he picked up a minor knee problem playing for France.
The game will also see England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain going up against his former club Southampton and Wenger wants his youngster to forget about the past.
“He has to forget that it’s his former club and just play,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com. “It’s always a little bit special for the guys who play against their former clubs – and I’ve not seen many players who can deal well with that.
“Sometimes they are absolutely outstanding, but most of the time they have a very average day.
“You try to assess how big the weight of this special moment will play on their mind. The more experienced they are, the better they deal with it.”
Southampton will look to bounce back from the disappointing 3-2 defeat to United in their last outing.
Arsenal (Squad): Szczesny, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Cazorla, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Podolski, Giroud, Mannone, Koscielny, Ramsey, Santos, Coquelin, Walcott, Gervinho, Djourou.
Southampton (Squad): Davis, Gazzaniga, Richardson, Butterfield, Clyne, Fox, Shaw, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fonte, Seabourne, Stephens, Chambers, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Chaplow, Cork, De Ridder, Ramirez, Lallana, Schneiderlin, Puncheon, Hammond, Davis, Lambert, Lee, Rodriguez, Mayuka.