Arsene Wenger is unsure whether Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscileny will be fit for Arsenal’s Premier League trip to Newcastle United on Saturday.
The Gunners’ first-choice centre-back pairing missed the 0-0 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Monday through illness and injury respectively.
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Wenger seemed to be hopeful that Koscielny’s back problem will subside in time for him to play at St James’ Park, but was less optimistic over Mertesacker’s chances of recovering from a chest infection.
He said: “Mertesacker is still sick and we will know more about Koscielny today. He might have a test on his back and I will certainly know more tomorrow morning. The less likely to be fit is Mertesacker.
“I would like them to be available but that’s part of the season, and you can’t complain about that.”
Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista deputised against the Reds and Wenger may have been alarmed by their performances despite his side keeping a clean sheet.
But the Frenchman is not expected to buy a new centre-back before Tuesday’s transfer deadline. A holding midfielder or a striker remain possibilities for Arsenal.
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