By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger may ring the changes for the FA Cup Fourth Round tie at Stoke City on Sunday.
Speaking to TV Online on Thursday, the Arsenal manager was only able to confirm that Abou Diaby would be out with the short-term calf injury he picked against Bolton the previous night and Bacary Sagna will be rested because of a shoulder problem.
However, the manager will assess a number of players in the build-up to the game at the Britannia Stadium and said he would “make use of his squad”. With a crucial run of games coming up in the Premier League, the new leaders may feel a need to protect their key players.
“Diaby has a calf problem,” said Wenger. “The first news is not bad but he has a scan tomorrow [Friday] and we will know more from there.
“Of course, he is out for Stoke and certainly for the Villa game. There is hope he might be back for Manchester United but we don’t know yet.
“From last night no [we lost no-one else]. But some have played on the fringe like Bacary Sagna, who has a bad shoulder. He will absolutely need to be rested. I will assess the situation on Friday and Saturday. But we will certainly make use of the squad.”
TV Online subscribers will be able to see the full interview on Friday morning. In it, Wenger talks about:
- The different kind of pressure now his side are top
- The comeback against Bolton
- The fall-out from William Gallas’ challenge ahead of the equaliser
- More on his possible team for Stoke
- The challenge they will get from Tony Pulis’ side
- Fitting in the FA Cup
- The latest transfer news
- His chances for bringing on someone in the last 12 days of the window