Arsenal have issued injury updates on a number of players who have been struggling for fitness, with Hector Bellerin, Dani Ceballos, Rob Holding and Gabriel Martinelli all pushing for places in the team against Chelsea on Sunday.
The Gunners have been struggling for form and consistency, but this has not been helped by a string of injuries especially in defence.
However, new manager Mikel Arteta could see this problem significantly eased with Bellerin and Holding close to a return to fitness.
The Spaniard has been out with a hamstring problem and the Englishman with a knee injury, but both are being assessed ahead of the meeting with Chelsea with a view of including them in the squad.
Ceballos and Martinelli, both of whom have been struggling with hamstring issues, are also being assessed ahead of the visit of the Blues.
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Definitely not back from injury yet are Sead Kolasinac, Sokratis and Kieran Tierney who have all been ruled out.
Kolasinac has an ankle complaint and will be back in full training in January, Sokratis suffered a concussion in the draw with Bournemouth on Boxing Day and will be reintegrated slowly, while Tierney is unlikely to be back in full training till March due to a dislocated shoulder.
Calum Chambers will also be available to Arteta after missing the Bournemouth match through suspension.
Granit Xhaka started Arteta’s first game in charge, but speculation continues to swirl about a possible move to Hertha Berlin in January, while the Gunners boss wants to keep him until the summer.
The Swiss midfielder is reportedly angry that he will be kept for the rest of the season, but whether that impacts team selection is yet to be seen.
Arteta explained what he will be looking to improve immediately at Arsenal after the draw at Bournemouth.
‘We need to attack better, to concede less on the counter-attack, to defend better and prepare a good training session for them to improve,’ said the Spaniard.
‘I don’t look at the games [coming up] against Chelsea or [Manchester] United – it’s now. At the moment the urgency is now. And we need an impact now.’