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Arsene Wenger has provided a team news update ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League last-32 second leg with Ostensunds tomorrow night.
The boss has confirmed that Aaron Ramsey won’t be in the squad despite returning to full training after recovering from a groin injury that’s kept him out of the last two games.
Ramsey has not yet been ruled out of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final with Manchester City and he’ll be assessed over the coming days to see if he can feature at Wembely.
Mesut Ozil was in-line to start against Ostensunds tomorrow but Wenger says the playmaker has been ruled out after picking up yet another sickness bug – although he should be fit to face City this weekend.
The boss also provided an update on Alexandre Lacazette and confirmed that the striker is on-course to return in four weeks rather than the initial six weeks he was ruled out for following knee surgery.
Wenger is expected to field a weakened side tomorrow as we already have one foot in the last-16 following our 3-0 win in the first leg over in Sweden last week and he’s confirmed three players who’ll start.
David Ospina will once again start in goal having featured in every Europa League game so far, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will also play tomorrow as he’s cup tied for the League Cup final while Danny Welbeck will start up front as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible to play in Europe.
Wenger is quoted as saying by Football London:
He is not in the squad tomorrow. He had a good training session but he’s a bit short.
Will Ramsey play in the final?
We’ll see how his evolution goes from today until Sunday. I don’t rule him out yet, it depends how well he can improve his intensity of training.
On Lacazette’s recovery from his operation
He is doing well, I think he will be ahead of the planned recovery. Four weeks, maybe three and a half. Overall his response is good.
On Danny Welbeck
Danny Welbeck will play tomorrow. He is getting sharper every day. In the last week he has moved forward, I think the game in Ostersund has done him good. I believe that physically he is getting better.
On Mkhitaryan and Ozil
He (Mkhitaryan) will play yes. Mesut was sick until today, he was in bed on Monday and Tuesday for sickness. I would have played him, but he will not be involved tomorrow.
Will Ozil be OK for the final?
He should be OK for Sunday.
Will Ospina start on Thursday?
We should see Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal and Jack Wilshere all rested on Thursday evening with the likes of Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac all given a chance to impress.