Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby could make his first start for the Gunners in over 19 months in the League Cup third round tie against Southampton.

Diaby has endured nearly two years of injury hell which saw him miss almost the whole of last season with a knee ligament problem, while a hip injury delayed his return this campaign.

But after being named on the bench for the Premier League win at Aston Villa, the French international is set to hand Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a major injury boost ahead of the remainder of the season.

"He's a giant, mentally," said Wenger. "To do what he has done, with the severe injuries he has had... he comes back every time, is dedicated and he deserves a lot of respect," the manager said.

"I'm a huge believer in his quality and I'm sad as well that he couldn't show it more. If there is some justice, the future will be much better for him.

"Yes [I will rotate]," he added. "I have a big squad and we will still have a team of experienced players, and we want to do well in this competition.

"I believe this is an opportunity to give a game to players who need it, and we go into a period where we play, and play, and play, and we want to continue to win our games."

Diaby has regularly been identified as the solution to Arsenal's midfield problems, but his constant injury issues have seen his career derailed. Wenger will be hoping his latest comeback on Tuesday night can lead to an extended run in the first team.

The tie against Southampton could also see summer signing David Ospina make his debut for Arsenal, after recovering from a thigh injury which has so far delayed his inclusion in the first team.

Ospina joined from Nice during the summer after enjoying a successful World Cup with Colombia and has revealed he is fit to play a full role for his new club.

"Physically I feel strong and 100% recovered," the 26-year-old said. "I was injured when I arrived to the team and that's not an ideal situation. Injuries don't help at all when you are trying to settle in, but thank God now I am in a good condition."