Arsene Wenger has reported positive news on Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coquelin and Danny Welbeck as Arsenal’s injuries continue to ease.
Arsenal host Chelsea at Emirates Stadium this weekend top of the Premier League and a massive 19 points of the reigning champions.
After a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in September, Wenger’s side won their next five league games to get their title tilt back on track. Bar the odd blip, it has remained on course since then, but back-to-back draws mean they lead Leicester City by goal difference alone.
Arsenal have managed to set the pace despite having Sanchez out since late November, with Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Coquelin and Welbeck also out with long-term injuries.
Both Ozil and and Sanchez are likely to return this weekend, with other players also getting close to a return.
“The good news is that Ozil certainly will be available,” Wenger said.
“Sanchez, the next two days will be decisive but, this time, I think he will make it for selection. Coquelin is back in full training today, ahead of schedule.
“Welbeck will be in full training next week. So those are positive news. (Tomas) Rosicky I think will play for the under-21s tomorrow night.
“A few players are coming back. We’re going into a very important period now, so to have people available is important for us.
“We have done extremely well during all this period when we had big players out, but it’s just a good opportunity to have everybody back.”
Wenger feeling positive over Alexis
While Sanchez is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring problem suffered at Norwich, Wenger has been wary about throwing him back in but feels he is now ready for a return.
“The doubt is about him having been out for a long time, and the risk of a setback,” Wenger said.
“To be clear on all the tests is one thing. To be clear after training is another. But the intensity of a big game you can never replicate in training, but you can make the risk minimal.
“I’m cautious with him because we cannot afford a setback, which would mean a very long period out. We don’t want to take this risk. The signs he’s shown in training this week are positive.”