The Gunners’ injury crisis that has plagued them for the majority of the season seems to be easing off, and against Chelsea would see the return of Mesut Ozil after he missed the Stoke City clash. But most notable is the likely return of Alexis Sanchez for the first time since November last year.
Arsene Wenger has admitted though that it would be a risk, with the boss saying “The doubt is that he has been out for a longtime and there is the risk of a setback if you try to go early. To be clear on all the tests is one thing, after he is clear on training is another thing, and after the intensity of a big game which you can never repeat in a training session.
“You can make sure after a certain amount of time that the risk is minimal. I am cautious with him because we cannot afford a setback with him. A setback would mean a very long period out so we don’t want to take this gamble”
It is expected though that the Chilean would be on the bench and probably get a late cameo as he continues to improve his fitness.
On other fronts, Tomas Rosicky came through 45 minutes of U21 football unscathed against Swansea, to begin his journey to full fitness.
The best news though is that Francis Coquelin is back in full training ahead of schedule, and should be expected to start featuring in a few weeks.
Welbeck is expected back in full training next week, leaving only Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla remaining in the physio room, which would represent a vast improvement to early December when the gunners had as much as seven players out.
Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Campbell, Ozil, Walcott
Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Chamberlain, Sanchez