Arsenal manager still sweating on defensive duo ahead of Newcastle

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is still sweating on the fitness of defensive duo Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker ahead of tomorrow’s lunchtime clash with Newcastle.

Koscielny is battling a back injury while Mertesacker is sidelined with a chest infection.

The pair both missed Monday’s goalless draw against Liverpool at the Emirates.

“I will certainly know more about Koscielny [today] - the less likely to be fit is Mertesacker,” said Wenger.

“At the moment he does not get better, and on Wednesday he was not good.

“The Germans are a bit sceptical of antibiotics, I don’t know what sort of medication he is taking.

“I hope that he comes in and says I am perfectly all right.”

Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are definitely both out.

Wenger added: “Danny Welbeck is progressing well. He should be available, if all goes well, after the international break.

“Jack Wilshere is just behind Welbeck, maybe one week after the international break he will certainly come back into full training.”