Arsene Wenger cautious on Jack Wilshere’s full fitness for World Cup

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Arsenal have certainly missed their talented homegrown midfielder Jack Wilshere in recent weeks, as the Gunners starlet has once again been sat on the treatment table.

Wilshere, 22, broke his foot whilst on England duty on March 5 in a friendly against Denmark and when asked about Wilshere’s availability for the World Cup this summer, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remained laid back but insisted he would be fine as long as he was “completely fit.”

What Wenger is alluding to is that he doesn’t want Wilshere forced into having to play in numerous warm-up games before heading to Brazil with the Three Lions.

Our friends over a Soccerly take up the story below, as Wilshere could make his long-awaited return this weekend against West Brom and then feature in Arsenal’s first FA Cup final since 2005 when they play Hull City on May 17.

Also, Wenger gave an update on another of Arsenal’s England internationals who has been out injured: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Gunners had hoped to have him back for this weekend’s Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion, but he might not now be available until their league finale at Norwich ahead of the FA Cup final on May 17. England have three warm-up matches and a training camp ahead of their World Cup Group D opener against Italy in Brazil on June 14 and Wenger believes that will give the 22-year-old Wilshere sufficient time to get to full fitness.

“It is not a gamble if he is completely fit. It is a strengthening of the (England) team,” Wenger said Friday. “If there was a medical doubt then yes it would be a gamble, but I think he will be completely safe and on that front medically he should be all right.”

Wilshere’s fellow Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also hoping to be a member of Hodgson’s World Cup squad. Oxlade-Chamberlain missed Monday 3-0 win over Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium, that cemented Arsenal’s grip on fourth position and a place in next season’s Champions League, because of a niggling groin problem,

“Chamberlain at the moment has an inflamed groin,” said Wenger. We will see how he progresses. “For the World Cup he should be okay, for us, will he come back for the end of the season? I don’t know,” the veteran French manager added. “It is not a gamble if he is completely fit. It is a strengthening of the (England) team,” Wenger said Friday. “If there was a medical doubt then yes it would be a gamble, but I think he will be completely safe and on that front medically he should be all right.”

El Tri star Lozano staying focusing amid Barcelona rumors

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Hirving “Chucky” Lozano was a player everyone needed to pay attention to heading into the 2018 World Cup, and through two matches, the El Tri star has been every bit the price of admission for his country.

[ MORE: Group scenarios heading into the final group stage matches ]

Mexico sits atop Group F with six points at the moment, and much of the team’s success can be attributed to Lozano’s endless motor and creative attacking vision when he finds space down the wing.

The PSV Eindhoven attacker has been linked with various big clubs, including La Liga giants Barcelona, but that hasn’t halted Lozano’s pursuit of guiding Mexico to an unprecedented run at the World Cup.

“The important thing is to focus on the next [Mexico] game, do as well as possible and go step by step,” Lozano said.

Despite winning their first two games, El Tri needs at least a point in its final Group F match to ensure qualification without any complications.

Mexico will take on Sweden on Wednesday, as Juan Carlos Osorio’s side aims to remain perfect in the group stage.

Meanwhile, Andres Guardado — who has been a mainstay of the Mexican national team for years — only confirmed the work ethic of his teammate and hopes that a dream move becomes a reality for Lozano in the near future.

“It makes me very proud to say he is a kid that is very centered, despite everything he is going through,” said Guardado after Saturday’s 2-1 win over South Korea. “He is conscious that he has to continue like he’s not achieved anything.”

“He’s the same kid I met the first time he came with us,” continued Guardado. “Hopefully he stays like that and the rumors about a possible transfer to a big team become reality. It would be marvelous, he’s a great teammate.”

Video: Salah lob has Egypt off and running in first half

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Egypt’s run at the World Cup didn’t go according to plan, but the Pharaohs are looking in control on Monday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Mohamed Salah‘s second goal of the tournament has given the Egyptians a 1-0 lead over Saudi Arabia in their Group A finale.

After a Saudi giveaway in the attacking half of the field, Salah latched onto a beautiful long ball from Abdallah Said, before lofting a shot over goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem.

Video: Suarez gives Uruguay early lead over hosts Russia

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It only took Uruguay 10 minutes to break through, and the South American side could be on its way to capturing a third consecutive victory at the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Barcelona star Luis Suarez scored his second goal of the tournament on Monday, as the veteran striker gave Uruguay the lead early on against hosts Russia.

Suarez stepped up for a free kick just outside the penalty area, and slotted the ball brilliantly past the Russia goalkeeper at his near post.

Both teams have already advanced out of Group A after winning their first two matches, however, Monday’s victor (if there is one) will likely decide who tops the group.

Argentine players likely selecting lineup for Nigeria match

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The Albiceleste entered Russia among the favorites to win the World Cup, but now Argentina is on the brink of disaster and possibly crashing out of the group stage.

Through two Group D matches, Argentina sits on one point, and needs a victory over Nigeria to have a shot at advancing to the knockout phase.

Drastic changes appear to be coming for the CONMEBOL nation, after relations with manager Jorge Sampaoli have soured significantly over the last week-and-a-half.

Rumors have suggested that Lionel Messi and the elder players in the squad will select the starting XI for Argentina’s do-or-die fixture on Tuesday, with Sampaoli simply staying on as manager to avoid further embarrassment to the federation.

Sampaoli is expected to still be on the sidelines for the match, though.

Meanwhile, Argentine television outlet TNT Sports LA revealed a potential lineup ahead of Tuesday’s Group D finale against Nigeria.

The starting XI, if true, would feature four changes from the Albiceleste’s 3-0 defeat to Croatia last Thursday, including the introduction of River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani for Chelsea’s Willy Caballero.