Football

Giroud out, Perez in for Gunners

LEAGUE CUP QUARTER-FINAL


ARSENAL v SOUTHAMPTON
(Tomorrow, 3.40am, Singtel TV Ch 110 
- Eleven Sports)

Arsenal are likely to rotate their squad for the League Cup quarter-final against Southampton tomorrow morning (Singapore time), with manager Arsene Wenger promising a mixture of youth and experience.

French striker Olivier Giroud will definitely miss the game because of a slight groin problem and Mathieu Debuchy is also unavailable because of a hamstring injury.

Striker Lucas Perez is likely to start, however, after recovering from an ankle injury that has sidelined him for five weeks since he appeared in the last round against Reading.

"Mathieu had a scan today, but we don't have the results yet," Wenger told the club's website.

"Lucas is in the squad and we will have a mixture of youth and experience, but still 90 per cent of the first-team squad."

Spanish forward Lucas' two goals this season came against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup.

Meanwhile, Wenger feels that Alexis Sanchez has added another dimension to his game.

SIZZLING

Two goals against Bournemouth last weekend capped a Man-of-the-Match display that married creativity with tireless running.

"I think Alexis adds to his game a desire to fight for the team and as well, he's a winner, he wants to win the game and he does what it takes to win the game," said Wenger.

"I believe on a tactical front, he has improved much more, he works much more for the team and, when it's needed during games, he works very hard for the team.

"I think he has improved a lot on (running effectively).

"He's more conscious of his responsibilities and he is an intelligent player.

"His dribbling is provocative, it's not retention, it's provocative, to create damage." - Wire Services.

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