Wenger hints at Perez start in Giroud absence in EFL Cup

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The Spaniard is expected to feature against Southampton in the quarter-final instead of his French counterpart, who is struggling with a groin problem

Olivier Giroud will miss Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final against Southampton due to a groin injury, but Lucas Perez is ready to make his comeback from an ankle problem.

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The France international was expected to start after having to settle for a spot on the bench behind Alexis Sanchez in recent weeks.

Giroud's absence could see manager Arsene Wenger give Perez the nod, with the Arsenal boss planning to field a mixture of first-team players and youngsters.

"Lucas is in the squad," Wenger was quoted as saying on the club's official website.

"We will have a mixture of youth and experience, but still 90 per cent of the first-team squad."

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Mathieu Debuchy, meanwhile, is also unavailabe due to a hamstring problem, with the right-back to undergo a scan on Tuesday.

"Mathieu has a scan Tuesday, but we do not have the results yet," Wenger added.

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