Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Shkodran Mustafi could return to the starting lineup when the Gunners take on Southampton in Saturday’s Premier League outing at St Mary’s.
The Germany international sustained the ‘minor thigh problem’ in the lead-up to Manchester United’s second goal in just the 11th of the game last weekend.
Mustafi’s absence saw the Gunners shift to a four-at-the-back formation, but they could not make a turnaround as they eventually suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of United.
Speaking prior to the BATE Borisov game, Wenger confirmed that Mustafi’s injury is only minor, and the German could feature against Southampton or West Ham United next week.
“The team news is that everybody is available, we just have a small problem with Mustafi from Saturday. But everybody else looks alright. It’s a possibility – if not Southampton, it will be [for] West Ham," he is quoted as saying on Arsenal’s official website.
Arsenal lost their first Premier League game at home in 13 attempts as they lost out to United despite dominating for vast parts of the encounter.
David de Gea, in particular, was scintillating in the opposition end, and Wenger will want a strong response from whichever team he sets up to face BATE in the final Europa League group game.
A number of regulars are likely to be rested for tonight’s European outing, and the match offers an opportunity to the likes of Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy to earn much-needed gametime at the heart of the backline.
Arsenal have already progressed to the last-32 of the Europa League with the top spot, but they still have something to play for after having dropped points in each of the last two European matches.