Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Per Mertesacker is injured ahead of his side’s match against Chelsea this weekend.
The Arsenal boss is confident that all his first-team players, barring the German centre-back, are fit to play in the game which could see Chelsea effectively wrap-up the Premier League title this season. The Blues go into the game ten points clear of their London rivals and a win at the Emirates will mean they only need to win one more game to be champions for the first time since 2010.
Wenger, who has failed to beat his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese began his first Chelsea tenure in 2004, is hoping second place Arsenal can delay the celebrations for at least a few more days when his team host Mourinho’s men, but is missing the World Cup winner from his squad.
“Last week against Reading we had Mertesacker injured. He has been in the treatment room. I don’t know if he will be available or not. Apart from him everybody else should be available. Gabriel is ready yes. He came on last week and I think if Per is not ready then Gabriel will start.”
It is believed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be fit for Sunday’s game but is not sure of starting as Wenger prepares his side for another FA Cup final, which they reached after beating Reading 2-1 at Wembley last Saturday. Mikel Arteta is likely to miss out as well. On the Spaniard, Wenger said this:
“He’s still out and I don’t think he’s been in training. He’s not considered at all. Mikel Arteta is getting closer. He’s back in full training. He’s still a bit short, physically, to go into a game of that intensity against Chelsea.”