Arsene Wenger has revealed that Jack Wilshere is in contention to play for Arsenal on Wednesday as the Gunners take on Italian side Udinese in their second-leg Champions League play-off.
The French coach was forced to field a very youthful midfield against Liverpool with Emmanuel Frimpong, Aaron Ramsey and Henri Lansbury all making appearances while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryo Miyaichi provided back-up on the bench.
However, with Alex Song and Gervinho available in Europe and Wilshere seemingly on the road to recovery after sustaining an Achilles problem in the Emirates Cup it appears Wenger may be able to call on more experience when his side touch down in northern Italy.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger revealed the latest team news ahead his side’s important match:
“Song and Gervinho [are back from suspension], maybe Wilshere will be back. Djourou has a chance. We have four or five players who could come back.”
Speaking specifically about Wilshere’s chances of making an appearance, Wenger continued: “He has a chance to play, yes. He trained on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
Having been forced by UEFA to sit and watch the first-leg from the stands, following a ban for his behaviour after last term’s showdown with Barcelona, Wenger has now been handed a further two game ban after Europe’s football body decided he had flouted the rules of his suspension by communicating with Pat Rice on the Arsenal bench.
A statement on UEFA.com reads as follows:
“The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has suspended manager Arsène Wenger from carrying out his duties at Arsenal FC’s next two UEFA competition matches.
“Today’s decision was taken in relation to the Arsenal manager not abiding by the decision of the Control and Disciplinary Body during the English club’s UEFA Champions League play-off game against Udinese Calcio last Tuesday, 16 August. Wenger is therefore suspended for Arsenal’s second-leg match against Udinese in Italy on Wednesday and then the next UEFA competition fixture for which he would be eligible.
“The Control and Disciplinary Body has also decided to fine Arsenal €10,000 for improper conduct by its officials. An appeal may be lodged against these decisions within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision.
“Wenger was serving a one-match suspension, handed down after Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League game at FC Barcelona last season, in the Udinese home match. The UEFA Disciplinary Regulations stipulate that a manager may not communicate with his team during a fixture for which he is suspended and may follow the game from the stands only.”