Mertesacker not expected to face QPR

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March 03, 2015 15:26:23 UK

Arsene Wenger has hinted that Per Mertesacker will not be returning to the Arsenal side for Wednesday’s Premier League clash against QPR.

The Germany international was dropped for Sunday’s 2-0 win against Everton, with his replacement, Gabriel Paulista, impressing on his Premier League debut.

Gabriel has shown that he’s a defender who’s committed, focused and can integrate well into our defensive system.

Arsene Wenger

Mertesacker struggled in the Gunners’ Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat to Monaco last week, and is unlikely to be partnering Laurent Koscielny at Loftus Road.

“We are all here to serve the club and rise above our own individual interests,” said Wenger. “Mertesacker has played many games and he has a fantastic mentality.

“He has a great stature, mental stature that is absolutely remarkable, and his contribution to the team has been excellent. There are periods where people are a bit less in form and that happens to everybody.

“I cannot tell you who will start against QPR. At the moment I have not decided yet. Gabriel has shown that he’s a defender who’s committed, focused and can integrate well into our defensive system. For a first game it was a very positive one.”

Arsenal are 1.20 to secure a top-four finish this season and can be backed at 9.00 to beat a QPR side, that is 1.57 to be relegated this term, 2-1 on Wednesday.

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