• World Cup

Oxlade-Chamberlain faces fitness race

ESPN staff
May 9, 2014
Wenger: We won the stamina league

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces a crucial next few days with his World Cup hopes hanging in the balance, admits Arsene Wenger.

The 20-year-old has been hampered by a groin injury since the 3-0 win at Hull on April 20 and is doubtful for the FA Cup final on May 17.

Roy Hodgson is due to name his 23-man squad for the World Cup before the Wembley showpiece and is expected to include Jack Wilshere, who is in line to return at Norwich this weekend from a fractured foot suffered on international duty against Denmark two months ago.

"If he gets over the next three or four days, he will be available," Wenger said. "If he doesn't, then we have to rest him and see. The next three or four days will be vital for him.

"He is desperate to go, and who wouldn't be? But we are in a job where your body responds or it doesn't respond. If it doesn't respond... the body is always stronger.

"In the end, you need your body to play football. He can only go to the World Cup if he is completely fit. It wouldn't be helpful for England for him to go there and not be 100 percent fit."

Oxlade-Chamberlain had only battled his way back to full fitness following a serious knee injury suffered on the opening day of the Premier League season, which sidelined him for five months.

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