By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger intends to make changes for the FA Cup Third Round tie with Leeds on Saturday.
The move is no surprise. Arsenal have just completed a run of four Premier League games in ten days over the Festive Period. Next week they start a two-legged Carling Cup Semi-Final against Ipswich.
Speaking to TV Online on Thursday lunchtime, Wenger confirmed that Kieran Gibbs will be back in the squad for the first time since December 8.
Meanwhile the suspension of Bacary Sagna enforces a change with Emmanuel Eboue coming in at right back.
Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie both suffered minor kicks against Manchester City on Wednesday but, even if they recover in time, neither are likely to figure against the Championship side.
“We will rotate,” said Wenger. “There are going to be changes, many changes.
“It will be good to have Kieran back and Eboue will play as Sagna is suspended.
“I cannot give you the team yet. I have somewhere in my mind that I will make changes but I don’t know who will play.
“From last night, we have no serious injuries. I believe that Nasri and Van Persie could be short for Saturday. They have kicks - Van Persie on the hip and Nasri on the ankle. It is a question of days.
“They have a chance to recover in time. But [anyway] I will certainly rest Van Persie and maybe Nasri.”
TV Online subscribers can see the full video later. In it, Wenger talks about:
- where the FA Cup fits in this season
- avoiding a reply
- how Leeds ended his first ever FA Cup run
- the current Leeds side
- the growing reputation of Simon Grayson
- their rise back up the League