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07 June 2023

Wenger reluctant to risk Wilshere for FA Cup tie

By Reuters

England midfielder Jack Wilshere is unlikely to be risked by Arsenal in the FA Cup against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday ahead of next week's Champions League clash at home to Bayern Munich.

 The 21-year-old has been in great from since returning from a serious ankle problem and shone for England against Brazil in last week's friendly international at Wembley.

 However, manager Arsene Wenger is wary of pushing Wilshere too hard after he suffered a minor thigh injury against Sunderland in the Premier League last weekend.

 "I will not take a risk," Wenger said on Friday. "(That is because I have) the rest of the season in mind and what happened to him before."

 Defender Laurent Koscielny is also a doubt for the fifth round Cup tie against Championship (second tier) side Blackburn because of a calf problem.

 "Wilshere and Koscielny have a test this morning and Thomas Vermaelen should be back. He has a definite test today," Wenger said. "We have plenty of people in training today who have a test and we'll see how well they come out of it."

 Arsenal face Bayern on Tuesday at the Emirates in the first leg of their last 16 tie.