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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Kieran Gibbs will miss the Premier League clash with Sunderland on Saturday but a refreshed Olivier Giroud should feature in attack.
Wenger was speaking out at his press conference on Friday as he revealed that left-back Gibbs suffered a slight hamstring problem during Wednesday night’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium.
Therefore he will miss out when Gus Poyet’s struggling Black Cats arrive in north London looking to try and add to the Gunners’ woes with three points to boost their survival mission.
However Wenger revealed that Giroud is set to return after he missed the last-16 first leg defeat against Bayern as part of his “refreshment plan” to ensure he does not become too drained.
Wenger revealed that Mesut Ozil will be give time to “recover” from the crucial penalty miss against Bayern Munich so he could miss out.
The French tactician was proud of his players’ performance against the reigning European champions as they played with ten men for over half of the match. But he suggested that the heavy fixture schedule is proving a struggle for his players which will be music to the ears of the Sunderland players.
Wenger said: “It’s difficult to adjust to playing in three competitions and physically it’s very demanding.”
Arsenal can be backed at 1.30 to bounce back and pick up three points against Sunderland as they look to keep pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea. Sunderland are 9.45 to pick up a vital win in the fight against relegation and the draw is 5.13.