Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the FA Cup final against Chelsea after his automatic three-game ban for being sent off against Everton was upheld. The France international scythed down Enner Valencia in the first half of the 3-1 win at The Emirates Stadium and was shown a straight red card for the challenge by referee Michael Olivier.
Manager Arsene Wenger insisted the decision was "harsh" leading to the club submitting an appeal in the hope he would be reinstated for the final at Wembley on Saturday [27 May]. However, The Football Association has turned down the plea, leaving the Gunners with a selection crisis heading into the final game of the season.
Brazilian defender Gabriel is a major doubt for Arsenal having suffered a knee injury in the second half against Everton. The 26-year-old is due to have a scan to confirm the full extent of the damage but Wenger does not expect him to feature again this term. Germany international Shkodran Mustafi is meanwhile also a doubt for the game with a calf injury but Kieran Gibbs is expected to be fit.
Club captain Per Mertesacker made his first appearance of the season for Arsenal from the bench at the weekend and could start alongside 21-year-old Rob Holding, with Nacho Monreal moved from full-back to a central position. Monreal is seeking to become the first Spaniard to win the FA Cup on three occasions and hopes the club can end a difficult season on a high.
"Obviously, we have good memories," said the 31-year-old, who was part of the squads which prevailed in 2014 against Hull City and 2015 against Aston Villa. "It's very important for the club, but also if we win and we are part of the team who have won The FA Cup for the record, that's important in the history of the competition and the club.
"We want to do it and we know that it's going to be very difficult, but we can do it. When we won the semi-final, we knew we would be coming back for the final and that is very important for the fans because this competition means a lot for English people.
"It's a very important trophy and we have the opportunity to win it again. We all know that Arsenal fans are waiting for the final now, because it's been a difficult season for us. We have the opportunity to forget what has happened in the league and be focused on the final."