Petr Cech is set to be dropped from Arsenal's FA Cup final clash against Chelsea with David Ospina replacing him between the sticks. The Colombian has expressed a desire to leave the club in the summer and Arsene Wenger is set to give him one more chance to reconsider by employing him in the starting line-up of the Cup final.
The Guardian reports that Cech is believed to have suffered a knock in training and Wenger has taken this opportunity to bench him in what is the Gunners' biggest draw for the season.
The 28-year old Ospina was part of Arsenal's Champions League run where they were smashed by Bayern Munich and also started in the first three rounds of the FA Cup, but missed the last two rounds through injury and was replaced by Cech.
Wenger has previously indicated that he is yet to make a decision on who to start in goal for the final with the Czech Republic international being in brilliant form over the last few weeks.
The former Blues man made some brilliant saves in the semi-final against Manchester City and has conceded six goals in nine matches played across all competitions. However, Ospina has been a regular in cup competitions and the Frenchman wants to give both players a chance to prove their worth.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are struggling with injuries in defence, with three defenders all but ruled out of the fixture. Laurent Koscielny will serve the first of his three-match ban against Chelsea in the final while Shkodran Mustafi is a major doubt with concussion. Gabriel is also out of the fixture after injuring his knee against Everton and will miss the next two months recovering from the setback.
Per Mertesacker, who made his first appearance of the season as a substitute against the Toffees, is likely to start alongside Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal in a back three, with Kieran Gibbs and Hector Bellerin coming in as wingbacks.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back fit after a hamstring problem but is likely to start from the bench after Bellerin's recent form. Meanwhile Mertesacker has stressed that he is ready to play 120 minutes on Saturday, 27 May if need be despite not having played any part in the Gunners' disappointing campaign.
"Am I able to play for 90 minutes? I cannot tell you. I haven't played this year. But I have done this for 15 years, so I expect myself to be absolutely ready, no matter what comes. I am going to go for it. I owe it to this team and this club. I want to make sure I will be ready and my mind-set is 120 minutes, plus penalties," Mertesacker said.