Emmanuel Frimpong was also making his first start after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury seven months ago and he revealed he had given Wilshere a few hefty tackles in training as preparation.
"When you're training with me every day you're always going to come back with a few knocks so he's used to that," Frimpong said. "I've given him a few testers so he's tough."
Frimpong also told how Wilshere had wanted to make his presence felt on his return to first-team training earlier this season with a crunching tackle on Mikael Arteta.
"Before training he said, 'When you've been out for so long and injured you want people to knock you about a bit.' He gave Mikael a little tester so Mikael knows he's back and has to be on his toes."