Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Jack Wilshere will not feature in Arsenal's Champions League tie with Anderlecht on Tuesday after he missed training today through illness.
The Gunners can seal their passage through to the last-16 at the Emirates providing they see off the Belgian champions and Galatasaray don’t upset the odds with a victory over Group D leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Wilshere missed the 3-0 weekend victory over Burnley due to suffering a knee injury in training, with Wenger confirming that he was unsure whether the midfielder would return in time to face Anderlecht.
The England international has since been ruled out though with illness, as Wenger confirmed on Monday that he has been sick in the build-up to the match and was unable to train on Monday morning.
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
“Jack has been sick and will not be involved tomorrow,” said Wenger. “The squad is exactly the same as played against Burnley.”
That means that both Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott could feature after coming off the bench on Saturday. Ramsey is being used carefully by Wenger since returning from a hamstring injury last month, having started just one of the four matches he’s played in since his return against Hull.
Video: Arsenal vs Anderlecht match preview
For Walcott, the cheer he received from the Arsenal crowd when he came on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on Saturday demonstrated the boost that the Gunners will receive with the England flyer available once again. Walcott has missed over nine-months of football after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Tottenham in January.
Arsenal began their group stage campaign with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Dortmund, but have since managed to register back-to-back victories over Galatasaray and Anderlecht – albeit via two late goals in Belgium last time out that turned the tie on its head.
Wenger would love to secure a place in the first knockout round as soon as possible, especially with their next European game against Dortmund coming days after the Premier League clash with Manchester United.
“If we can seal qualification I would describe the feeling as satisfied to have the job done,” Wenger added.
“We respect Anderlecht because they gave us a tough game and we had a bit of a miraculous win because we needed to go until the last minute but that was as well our quality in the game.
“We have been warned and now we want to win the game again at the Emirates.”
Wenger also took more time to rave about summer signing Alexi Sanchez, who has grown in influence on the Arsenal side in recent weeks having taken his goal tally to double figures in all competitions thanks to a brace against Burnley on Saturday.
“I believe he had a difficult start to integrate with the team - it was not easy for him to adapt to us and us to him,” Wenger said.
“Now he is showing how good he is. I believe what you want from every top player is not just individual quality but also a fighter.
“He shows that in every game - the header he scored (against Burnley) is a fantastic goal, not just because of the quality of the goal but because of the desire and determination as well.”
Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta added: “Playing with somebody like Alexis is easy and nice because it makes our job easier when you have a player likes him in form scoring goals and playing well for the team.
“The way he looks after people around him and the work he does every game is something we need to highlight because his goals, assists and tricks get more attention but his work is important as well.”
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