Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck has confirmed he will not be part of the travelling squad to face Sutton United in the FA Cup tie due to the National League side's artificial pitch.
The Gunners have been drawn against the non-League side in the fifth round of the cup competition at the Gander Green Lane on 20 February. A victory for either side will see them face Lincoln City in the quarter-final clash.
Welbeck started in Arsenal's Under-23 side to face Leicester City on 19 February, which saw a backlash from a few sections of supporters on social media. However, the England international, who returned from an eight-month injury layoff, has confirmed that Sutton's "plastic pitch" forced him to withdraw from the Gunners' travelling squad.
"Glad to get 70 minutes today to build up my match fitness. Plastic pitch at Sutton isn't the best idea at the moment. #COYG," Welbeck tweeted.
The former Manchester United man was leading the Arsenal Under-23 attack against the Foxes. Josh Knight and Layton Ndukwu's two goals were sufficient for them to seal a victory over the north London club.
Welbeck played 69 minutes for the Gunners before being replaced by Eddie Nketiah midway through the second half. Since making a comeback from his knee injury, he has made only one start, scoring a brace in his side's 5-0 FA Cup win over Southampton.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has also raised concern over Sutton's artificial pitch for their upcoming FA Cup tie. Arsenal have practised on a 3G pitch at the London Colney training ground and the Frenchman explains why it will not have a huge impact on Monday.
"It's not the same because it's a dry pitch and I've heard that Sutton have a wet pitch, they water it before the game so it'll be much quicker," Wenger said, as quoted by the Guardian.
"It means the weight on the joints is stronger, you cannot glide, you have to block every time so it makes football a bit different because the ball comes to you and somebody accelerates and doesn't slow down like in a normal game so you have to get used to the difference in speed."