Wojciech Szczesny
Szczesny's position as Arsenal's No.1 hangs in the balance.Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger must decide whether to drop goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for the Premier League visit of Stoke City after the Poland international was reportedly caught smoking a cigarette in the showers following the loss at Southampton.

The Gunners No.1 is understood to have been fined £20,000 for committing the misdemeanour following the New Year's Day loss at St Mary's and was left out of the FA Cup third round victory over Hull City, with David Ospina recalled for the first time since October.

Ospina, the Colombian stopper, was expected to deputise for Szczesny in the repeat of last season's FA Cup final against the Tigers, so therefore the seriousness of the Arsenal player's offence as perceived by Wenger will be reflected in his team selection this weekend.

Szczesny's position ahead of the game is compromised further by his performance against Southampton, where individual errors led to Saido Mane and Dusan Tadic's goal, and Wenger may believe the ban might re-focus the 24-year-old.

The Pole's form has wavered this season behind a much-changed Arsenal back-four, with losses of concentration in defeat at home to Manchester United and in the harrowing loss to Stoke City accentuating the club's difficult league campaign.

Jack Wilshere was dropped from the Arsenal team when caught smoking for a second time in October 2013, coming on as a second half substitute in the Champions League game against Napoli, and a similar punishment could be handed down to Szczesny.

Ex-Arsenal midfielder John Jensen claimed to Danish television that Wenger had opted to exile Szczesny from the first team but reports have claimed the player is confident of retaining his place in the first team despite being reprimanded.

Wenger is expected to face questions over Szczesny's future during his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Stoke, when he also likely to be quizzed on the club's transfer plans.