Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has provided fitness updates on several key players, revealing that Santi Cazorla is a doubt to face Middlesbrough.
The Gunners are in great form currently, winning their last seven consecutive games in all competitions, while having scored nine goals in their last two games.
In turn, they should be confident about their chances on Saturday when they welcome Middlesbrough to the Emirates, but Wenger has revealed that he’s sweating over the fitness of a key midfielder.
Santi Cazorla picked up a knock in midweek against Ludogorets in the Champions League, while Granit Xhaka will be missing as he’s suspended following his red card against Swansea City last weekend.
As a result, Wenger may have a selection headache over his midfield, with Francis Coquelin possibly paired up with Mohamed Elneny.
“Well, from Wednesday night it looks like we have no big problems,” he told reporters on Friday, as noted by the club’s official website. “The only uncertainty I have is Santi Cazorla, who got a kick. We’ll see how he is today but we have nobody coming back. Of course we lose Xhaka because he’s suspended and everybody else should be available.”
Meanwhile, it doesn’t sound as though either Olivier Giroud or Aaron Ramsey will be risked this weekend, with the pair recovering from toe and hamstring injuries respectively.
With Arsenal performing so well and picking up positive results, there is no need to push them back too soon at this stage, and Wenger hinted that they could be in line to return next weekend.
“They are progressing well. Olivier Giroud could maybe be involved on Tuesday and certainly will need one more week sharpening up. He could be available but we want him really to be 100 per cent fit before we bring him back.
“Ramsey is progressing well and I believe fitness-wise he is 90 per cent there. His potential return could be not against Reading on Tuesday, but maybe Sunderland.”
In turn, it’s likely to be a familiar line-up for the Gunners on Saturday afternoon, albeit with a couple of changes after Wenger opted to rotate his squad in midweek with the likes of David Ospina, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain given minutes.
Arsenal possible XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Iwobi, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez.