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Aug 26, 2013

Wenger: Wilshere will face Fenerbahce

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said midfielder Jack Wilshere will start Tuesday night's Champions League play-off second leg against Fenerbahce at the Emirates.

Jack Wilshere was left on the bench against Fulham
Wilshere will play in what Wenger said will be a stable team.

- Limbert: Rotation options

Wilshere was among the Gunners’ substitutes for the 3-1 win at Fulham and came on in the second half.

Wenger said: "Jack will play. We communicate with him and the medical team so we can give him a breather when needed. There will be stability in the team -- 95% of the team that played at Fulham will play.

"People think its the knee which is the problem, but it’s the ankle. All the movements come from the ankle. He’s had surgery three times, so we have to be cautious.

"I’m a bit cautious because he has had a few operations. I don’t want to make a mistake on the medical front and overuse him because the ankle is the most important part of any football player.

"I take always medical advice. If the ankle is not inflamed, if he has no pain, then we would not rest the player. If they say there is a little inflamed ankle, we would say okay, lets not. I do that with medical advice.

"I would be a bit more cautious with Jack because of the history. Until we feel he is completely free from any risk, of course. If he gets through well on Tuesday he will play on Sunday [in the north London derby against Tottenham]. Between Tuesday and Sunday there are five days, so that is enough time."

Wenger went on to urge England boss Roy Hodgson to use Wilshere carefully in upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, suggesting his midfielder should only be asked to play in one of those fixtures.

"We have a good connection with the England medical department and they know him well, so don’t play him against Moldova," said Wenger with a smile.

"It’s an important year for every single player because they all want to go to the World Cup, but first England have to qualify. If you have a good season you have a good chance of going to the World Cup. So lets most importantly have a good season [with Arsenal] and then we will see."

Defender Laurent Koscielny is available again after being suspended for the Craven Cottage clash and suffering a head injury in the 3-0 first-leg win in Istanbul last week. Thomas Vermaelen (back), Abou Diaby (knee), Mikel Arteta (thigh) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) remain out.

Provisional squad: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud, Fabianski, Podolski, Monreal, Sanogo, Frimpong, Gnarby, Jenkinson, Hayden, Bellerin.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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