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21 July 2017

Arsene Wenger confirms Theo Walcott still laid low by sickness bug that has ravaged Arsenal squad in China

THEO WALCOTT is still struggling to shake off the stomach bug that has ripped the Arsenal squad apart in China.

It means the England winger is in severe danger of missing the Saturday lunchtime showdown with Premier League champions Chelsea in Beijing.

Theo Walcott...still feeling rough
Theo Walcott…still feeling rough
Getty Images
The England winger had to watch Friday's training session from the sidelines
Arsene Wenger revealed the England winger had to watch Friday’s training session from the sidelines
Getty Images

Olivier Giroud, Sead Kolasanic and Per Mertesacker were suffering with the illness in midweek while Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were feeling the effects.

Ramsey both took full part in an open training session at the Bird’s Nest Stadium on Friday following their victory on shootout penalties over Bayern Munich.

But Walcott only watched the final part of the session from the sidelines.

And Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “Today we had 21 players fit. Theo Walcott was not ready and I don’t think he’ll be ready for tomorrow. But there’s nothing major.

“It’s a friendly against Chelsea and that means it is not really a friendly. There’s always some pride at stake and London desire. It was an interesting game in the FA Cup final.

“We play Chelsea in Community Shield and early in the season again. We know each other very well and it’s difficult to know how prepared is Chelsea.


“It was good against Bayern and it is another test for us.”

Laurent Koscielny also declared himself available after missing the Bayern game with a back problem. The French centre-back also took full part in Friday’s session to boost Wenger’s defensive options.

Walcott is a big doubt to face Chelsea on Saturday
Walcott is a big doubt to face Chelsea on Saturday
Getty Images
China,...Walcott takes a plunge in a wheelie bin ice bath
Hot work in China…Walcott takes a plunge in a wheelie bin ice bath
Twitter @theowalcott

“My back is better,” Koscielny said. “I had a little pain on Tuesday morning, so I did treatment. Today I trained and I was OK. Not 100 percent, but I’m OK for playing. So we’ll see tomorrow.”

Arsenal's Theo Walcott breaks record after controlling a ball from 111ft

Upwards of 50,000 fans are expected at the Bird’s Nest, with several hundred local Arsenal fans cheering the team on during training.


Keep up to date with ALL the transfer news and gossip on our blog


Before his news conference, Wenger exchanged gifts with the local organiser, handing over a signed Arsenal shirt in exchange for a personalised Chinese stamp.


 

 

 

 

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