Arsene Wenger has provided all Gunners fans with the news that they have been hoping for, by declaring that the key quartet of Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil and Keiran Gibbs should all be fit to face Manchester City on Saturday at the Emirates.
A knock to the ankle in the closing minutes of Wales’ clash against Andorra on Tuesday had left Ramsey as a doubt, but Wenger is hoeful that he will be passed fit to occupy his pivotal role against the champions, much to the relief of fans who would have feared losing their talismanic midfielder for any length of time.
Wenger told the official Arsenal website:
The first news is not bad. He will be assessed today and he has a little chance to be available for Saturday. He had an ankle sprain but it’s a minor one that’s for sure. Will it be enough to be available for Saturday? We’ll know today.
Creative midfielder Ozil missed Germany’s international fixtures due to an injury sustained in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against Leicester at the King Power Stadium, but has overcome the injury to return to the fray.
Arsenal fans will also be boosted by the return of club captain Mikel Arteta and left back Keiran Gibbs, although the latter may have to settle for a place on the bench as he builds his way toward match fitness.
The Arsenal manager added:
“Arteta and Gibbs are back in the squad and in normal training. Ozil had a knock and didn’t play for Germany because he had a sprained ankle. He will be available as well.”
Wenger was cagey as to whether new signing Welbeck would go straight into the starting line-up after his £16m move from Manchester United, adding that it was “possible” but not providing a definitive answer.
The Arsenal manager also added that flying winger Theo Walcott is now two or three weeks away from returning to the Arsenal fold, after the serious knee injury that the Englishman suffered in the FA Cup against Spurs in January.
Predicted line-ups and match preview to follow…