Arsene Wenger is hoping Laurent Koscielny will be fit for the weekend, but Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck remain some way off a comeback.
The Gunners face Watford on Saturday at 5:30pm, and the manager hopes centre-half Koscielny will return from a hamstring injury if the Frenchman can pass a fitness test.
Wenger, though, was less upbeat over Wilshere and Welbeck.
“Jack Wilshere is still at least one month away. Danny Welbeck, earliest, beginning of January,” Wenger said at his weekly press conference.
“Koscielny faces a fitness test. We have three players that could come back.”
Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are also understood to be close to fitness.
Following the impressive 3-0 win over Manchester United in their last outing, Arsenal are second, just two points off the top of the league, and Wenger believes they can challenge for the title
“The top eight can compete for the Premier League. It is difficult to rule anybody out,” he said.
“You can compete for the championship if you turn up and fight for every game.
“We need to show the same quality.”