Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs West Ham

"I have done it for 20 years and it looked always like nothing. Suddenly, it becomes important so I'm quite pleased people realise that it is not as easy as it looks."

Arsene Wenger's reference to the difficultyof qualifying for the Champions League is poignant in the sense that for the first time in 20 years his team may not be playing in Europe's elite competition next season.

Bellerin: Top four there for the taking

The Gunners have struggled in recent weeks,losing six and winning just three of their last 10 matches in all competitions to be knocked out of Europeand seemingly drop out of contention for a 21st straight top-four finish.

Wenger himself has been the centre of speculation regarding his own future, with an expiring contract at the end of the season expected to be renewed and an announcement forthcoming 'soon' - but right now the Frenchman says he is focused on the next game.

An impressive fightback against Manchester City in which the Gunners came back from a goal down twice seems unlikely to salvage Champions League football for next season and it's crucial that Wenger's side win the rest of their league fixtures if they are to finish in the top four come May.



ARSENAL INJURIES

Laurent Koscielny will undergo a test on his Achilles injury ahead of the game and it's currently unknown how long he'll be out for.

Wenger bemused by Alexis panic

The Frenchman's absence means the return of Brazilian centre back Gabriel to defence, although Wenger confirmed in his pre-match press conference that captain Per Mertesacker is fit and available for selection.

Santi Cazorla will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on an ankle problem while Lucas Perez is still on the sidelines with a thigh injury.



Lucas Perez Arsenal

ARSENAL SUSPENSIONS

Arsenal have no suspended players for this match.



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ARSENAL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP

Gabriel looks set to start at centre back due to Koscielny's absence through injury, while David Ospina will continue behind the sticks.

Arsenal failings in big games exposed

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey face late fitness tests before Wednesday's match, meaning an unchangedmidfield partnership of Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin is likely.

Alexis Sanchez could revert to his central striker position after an uneventful display from Danny Welbeck against Man City.





Arsenal XI

WEST HAMDOSSIER

West Ham have lost four consecutive Premier League games and face a tough test at the Emirates on Wednesday where a rejuvenated Arsenal side will be looking to end their own barren run.

Michail Antonio returns to the Hammers squad for Wednesday's game but it's not clearwhether a man who was forced to pull out of the most recent England squadwill start or not.

Aaron Cresswell has been ruled out of the game while Diafra Sakho will be named on the bench following his return from a hamstring injury.

Premier League table





Antonio is their top league scorer with ninegoals.

BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS

  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last 17 Premier League games against West Ham (W13 D3), though it did come in this exact fixture last season.

  • West Ham have won five Premier League away games against Arsenal - they've only won more on the road in the competition against Fulham (6).

  • Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals and provided one assist in his last two games against West Ham, including a hat-trick in the reverse of this fixture.

  • Arsenal have won just one of their last eight Premier League matches played in midweek (Tues-Thurs); drawing four and losing three.

  • No team has scored more headed goals than Arsenal in the Premier League this season (14, level with West Brom).

TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME

Kick off is at 19:45(BST) on Wednesday 5th April and the match is not being broadcast on TV in the UK.

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