Football

Wojciech Szczesny must recover from bruised rib to play in FA Cup semi-final

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Wojciech Szczesny will be fit to start next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Reading, despite struggling with a bruised rib.

Szczesny was left out of the squad to face Liverpool last weekend with the problem, which has stopped him taking a full part in training for a fortnight.

The Polish international has an outside chance of returning to the bench for Saturday's trip to Burnley, but probably far more pressing in his mind is the though of not missing a Wembley showdown in which he's almost certain to play if fit.

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Szczesny's struggles continue

In his pre-match press conference for the Burnley match Wenger has overwhelmingly positive news to report on the injury front, which along with the return of Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy included Szczesny's likely recall.

"It was a bruised rib so he should be okay (for the FA Cup semi-final next week)," Wenger insisted. The Gunners boss finally has the vast majority of his squad fit and firing, which means second place and FA Cup success now has to be the minimum target for the remainder of the season.

Ospina now very much Arsenal's number one

Ahead of the Reading match Szczesny now must have some sympathy with the plight of international team-mate and former understudy Lukasz Fabianski, who was also forced to feed off FA Cup scraps last season.

Szczesny is now in the same position after an alarming dip in form towards the end of 2014, which when coupled with being caught smoking in the changing rooms at St Mary's led to the promising young stopper being dropped.

Colombian keeper David Ospina took Szczesny's place and has risen to the challenge, producing a string of assured displays over the last two months in particular.

Ospina is now firmly established as Arsenal's number one and Szczesny must use the FA Cup to prove himself all over again, which is why its so important he gets fit for next Saturday's semi-final.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Wojciech Szczesny

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