Arsene Wenger has indicated his intention will be to rotate his squad for the FA Cup third round clash with Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Despite acknowledging that a third round trip to a Championship club is not ideal, the Gunners boss says he’ll be making plenty changes.
Wenger will watch the City Ground clash from the stands after he was served with a three-game touchline ban in the wake of comments made about officials lately.
A groin problem means Granit Xhaka is added the Arsenal injury list that also includes Sead Kolasinac (ankle), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Olivier Giroud (hamstring) and Nacho Monreal (ankle).
I will rotate a little bit because we have also come out of a very high-loaded period.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup three times in the previous four seasons, while Wenger has never been knocked out in the third round in more than two decades in charge of the club. That won’t stop him making changes now.
“I will rotate a little bit because we have also come out of a very high-loaded period,” he said.
“We played three big games in six days and twice we were away, followed by a big game at home.
“We have to keep our level of focus, of urgency, because the third round is very difficult especially when you play away from home against a Championship team.”
Forest academy boss Gary Brazil will again take charge as the search goes on for Mark Warburton’s successor. Striker Daryl Murphy missed the New Year’s Day draw with Leeds and remains a doubt for the home side.
Nottingham Forest are 5/1 to stun the FA Cup holders on Sunday. Arsenal are 3/5 to win, with the draw 16/5.