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Aaron Ramsey back in full training for Arsenal 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is back in full training after recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for a number of weeks. The Welsh international won’t feature against Reading in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 clash, but the industrious player could make the squad for Saturday’s trip to face Sunderland.

The Gunners have been short on central midfield options with Santi Cazorla picking up an injury, while Granit Xhaka is suspended so Ramsey’s return comes at a good time. Arsenal didn’t have a recognised central midfielder on the bench in Saturday’s goalless draw against Middlesbrough, and having to play both Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny in deep-lying roles meant Arsenal lacked creativity.

Kieran Gibbs to captain Arsenal in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 tie 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs is set to lead the side out as captain when the Gunners welcome the visit of Reading in the last-16 of the EFL Cup. Manager Arsene Wenger revealed in a pre-match press conference that the English left-back will be given the armband like he was in the EFL Cup third round win over Nottingham Forest.

Wenger will ring the changes from Saturday’s goalless draw with Middlesbrough and Gibbs is set to replace Nacho Monreal at left-back, among a host of other replacements in the squad. “Gibbs – who captained the team at Forest – will do it again on Tuesday,” said the Arsenal manager this week. Gibbs has been on the periphery for some time at Arsenal but was given his first Champions League start in a year against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad a week ago.

Lucas Perez “will have an opportunity” against Reading tonight 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed striker Lucas Perez will get game time in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 clash against Reading. The Spanish centre-forward has been on the periphery since his arrival from Deportivo La Coruna but could be in line to feature against the Royals to help fire Arsenal into the quarter-finals of the competitions.

Wenger likes to rotate his squad in the cups competitions to ensure his star players are well-rested, while giving valuable minutes to the fringe players who haven’t played as much. As a result, it’s highly unlikely Alexis Sanchez will lead the line this evening, meaning Lucas Perez has a chance of getting a rare start. Lucas Perez is 10/11 to score anytime against Reading in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 clash and he’ll be desperate to prove his worth.

Giroud to pip Perez for a starting place up front against Reading? 0

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

According to the Mirror, Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud could start against Reading in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. It flies in the face of some claims that summer-signing Lucas Perez would finally lead the line for the Londoners but manager Arsene Wenger is perhaps readying the French international with a view to introduce him from the bench in the Premier League in the coming weeks.

Saturday’s goalless draw against Middlesbrough showed how the Gunners needed a Plan B in their approach, but Perez won’t be happy with the omission. The former Deportivo La Coruna attacker has been patiently waiting for an opportunity, and Perez himself has recently admitted he expected more of a starring role with Arsenal.

Arsenal targeting another Brazilian defender? 0

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

According to journalist Marcos Eduardo on Twitter, Arsenal are targeting Palmeiras defender Vitor Hugo, in a deal worth around £7M.

The Gunners are alleged to be bolstering their backline with the likes of Per Mertesacker potentially leaving in the summer, while Laurent Koscielny isn’t getting any younger at age 31.

Past meetings between Arsenal and Reading 0

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal and Reading lock horns at the Emirates Stadium in the Capital One Cup last-16 on Tuesday night, and the one-sided head-to-head record suggests the Gunners should comfortably dispatch of the Royals this week. The two sides have met nine times post-millennium but there’s only been one winner on each occasion.

Arsenal and Reading’s last meeting was in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday, April 18, which saw Arsenal win 2-1aet. The Gunners went on to win the FA Cup that season and last year’s meeting with Reading sealed their ninth win from their last nine head-to-heads. The last time the two sides locked horns in the Capital One Cup resulted in a 12-goal thriller in the last-16.

Who will start in the Capital One Cup against Reading? 1

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal lock horns with Championship club Reading in the last-16 of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, in a game that manager Arsene Wenger will use to play fringe players. With the Gunners’ starting lineup looking identical in the Premier League most weeks, there are a host of squad players in need of game time to stay sharp so who will make the cut this week?

Kieran Gibbs recently played in Arsenal’s Champions League win over PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and will be in contention to feature against the Royals. Having played just 44 minutes of Premier League football. Gibbs has been on the periphery for some time but could be given the nod by Wenger in place of first-choice left-back Nacho Monreal.

Does Jack Wilshere still have a future at Arsenal? 0

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

England midfielder Jack Wilshere completed a full 90 minutes in the Premier League for the first time in two years during his season-long loan spell with Bournemouth. The Arsenal academy graduate made the switch to Dean Court to get regular playing time and build up his fitness, and is currently flourishing with the Cherries due to the opportunities given to him by manager Eddie Howe.

Danny Welbeck needs to make up for lost time at Arsenal 0

Posted on October 23, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently revealed striker Danny Welbeck is “ahead of schedule” in his rehabilitation from knee surgery and should return in January to play a role in the remainder of the season. The former Manchester United attacker suffered significant cartilage damage at the tail end of last season and has made just 10 starts in all competitions since April 2015.

Wenger said back in August that a Christmas return was not off the cards and he’s recently reiterated how well Welbeck has done in his recovery. The 25-year-old didn’t have a history prior to his Arsenal move in 2014, but has now suffered two long-term knee injuries with the Gunners so Wenger and the medical staff are taking extra measures to ensure there’s no setbacks.

Would Arsenal have beaten Middlesbrough with Olivier Giroud? 1

Posted on October 23, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Following Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough, many believed the Gunners’ were lacking a physical presence in the box to steer home one of the many crosses whipped in. Striker Olivier Giroud is a player who thrives on such support but he’s been out of action for a number of weeks with a foot injury, and his absence may have proven costly given how the game turned out.

The Frenchman is expert at scoring one-touch finishes at the near post, and is an aerial threat too. Arsenal struggled to create chances and couldn’t find anyone on the end of their many crosses against Middlesbrough. Giroud has shown in the past how deadly he can be with balls coming into the box, and manager Arsene Wenger admitted Giroud’s influence would have been a boost.

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