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Sunday 22 April 2018

Danny Welbeck out of FA Cup final for Arsenal and is a huge doubt for Ireland friendly

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is not expected to be fit in time for the FA Cup final at Wembley
Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is not expected to be fit in time for the FA Cup final at Wembley

Jeremy Wilson

Danny Welbeck has been ruled out of Arsenal’s FA Cup final team, a situation that means either Jamie Vardy or Charlie Austin is also likely to start for England in their friendly against the Republic of Ireland on June 7.

A knee injury has sidelined Welbeck since the goalless draw against Chelsea last month and Arsene Wenger has said that he will be “short” for the FA Cup final with Aston Villa because he has not yet trained.

Captain Mikel Arteta and right-back Mathieu Debuchy are still in contention for a squad place after returning to full training while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should also be in the Arsenal squad but is not, according to Wenger, quite ready to start.

Welbeck was included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the friendly against the Republic of Ireland and then the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia. Hodgson has said that Wayne Rooney will not start against the Republic of Ireland, leaving Vardy and Austin as the only fit and available strikers.

Theo Walcott could also come into contention to start in a central position and Welbeck is still hoping to returning to full training in the coming days.

Walcott scored a first-half hat-trick during a rare start as a striker in the 4-1 win against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, while Olivier Giroud has now gone eight games without scoring. “When it is free-flowing football, we are impossible to play against,” said Walcott.

“I just want to play football and getting a hat-trick on the last day of the season after having limited opportunities, it was just nice to go out there to show what I can do. There is a good sense of belief in this team, we can take it into the weekend and hopefully get another trophy.”

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