Date: 4th April 2017 at 10:54pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger has held his pre West Ham press conference ahead of tonight’s clash and given an update on team news.

Meeting with the media in his usual pre game media meet and greet, Wenger told the Official Site about the current state of play when it came to fitness news.

With a four day turn around in fixtures following the weekend’s two all draw with Manchester City, Arsenal obviously lost Laurent Koscielny at the half time break, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey missed out on the game full stop with minor injuries.

With his press conference taking place on Wednesday, the chances of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey coming back into contention were dependent on fitness tests later in the evening but Wenger was confident he could welcome them both back based on how the day had gone until that point.

‘Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey have a test today, and we will see if they can be involved. I think there`s a good chance they will be back in the squad. Apart from that, we lost Laurent Koscielny. For how long? I don`t know.’

Asked more about Koscielny’s injury Wenger went on to say.

‘It`s an Achilles problem. If he`s ruptured a few fibres of his tendon, it could be a few weeks. If it`s just an inflammation, he could maybe be available for selection next week against Crystal Palace. At the moment, I think he has a scan today and we`ll know much more tomorrow.’

Per Mertesacker does come back into his thoughts for the game.

‘He is available to play, yes. He`s been out for a long, long time. But he`s been available now for a while, for a long time. He`s worked very hard. Physically, he`s ready but he lacks competition.’

He also confirmed that goalkeeper Petr Cech remained unavailable for this clash.

Speaking about the game a little bit more specifically, Wenger knew that it would be another test for the side given our form at the minute so he knew ‘sticking together’ and ‘continuing to fight’ was all the side could do with hopes of ending the campaign strongly.

Sitting seven points behind fourth placed Manchester City but with a game in hand, the battle for the top four spots certainly isn’t over but there’s catch up to be done.

‘I think it`s just about sticking together and continuing to fight. It`s a good challenge but I think it`s perfectly possible. Certainly for 20 years I have done it and it looked always like it`s nothing. Suddenly it becomes important, so I am quite pleased that people realise that it`s not as easy as it looks.’

Wenger went on to say.

‘Of course we have a difficult task in front of us, but I am happy as well that people realise suddenly that it`s not as easy as it looked always. The experience will play a part of course, but I think it is just about sticking together and continuing to fight. If we show the same spirit we showed against City, we will win football games. We have played 19 games unbeaten this season, and I think it`s a good opportunity to remind people we are not fighting to not go down, we are fighting to have a positive end to the season. That`s why you want the fans to stand behind the team and that the debate at the moment is about that. Let`s finish as strong as we can and show that we have some resilience, some quality and some mental spirit that we have shown against City.’

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