Wenger confirms double injury blow ahead of Stoke clash

Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs

Arsene Wenger took questions from the press ahead of the game at Stoke City over a number of subjects.

Arsene Wenger confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen and Mesut Ozil will feature in his squad for the match against Stoke.

Vermaelen has been an irregular starter for the Gunners throughout the season while the German midfielder was given an extended break to recharge his batteries after looking fatigued from recent performances.

“Vermaelen and Ozil are back in the squad, we have doubts over Monreal and Gibbs,” said Wenger.

That could possibly mean a chance for Vermaelen to win his place back in the regular starting eleven, albeit, at left-back.

Wenger explained the theory behind allowing Ozil to go back to Germany for an extended break was purely to allow him to rest.

“Ozil had a difficult game and sometimes it's good to refresh when you are under pressure,” added the boss.

Wenger also revealed his delight at the progress of loan star Joel Campbell, who bagged an impressive goal against Manchester United earlier this week.

The forward has admitted that he wants to play regular football for the Gunners next season and Wenger says he’s impressed by how Campbell has adapted physically.

“Joel Campbell was convincing going forward and he looks like he has adapted physically.”

Wenger worked hard to play down his side's favourites tag ahead of the game against Stoke, pointing out Mark Hughes' side have plenty of European experience.

"We had some bad memories from Stoke but we had some good memories as well, it's just down to our performance on the day. Stoke always had good players, let's not forget they qualified for the Europa League."

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch