In the press conference ahead of the Arsenal home game against Premier League strugglers Middlesborough this weekend, reported on the Arsenal website, Arsene Wenger revealed that there is still a little doubt over whether Santi Cazorla will be available after the Spaniard picked up a knock in the Champions League win over Ludogorets Razgrad on Wednesday.
The manager was quick to replace him, so even if he cannot start this weekend he will not be out for long. If Wenger is in two minds, however, I think he will play because the Frenchman has got the advantage of knowing that he will soon have Aaron Ramsey back, with the Welshman pencilled in for a return to action next weekend when we travel to Sunderland.
And if the boss was wondering whether to rest another of his overworked players Alexis Sanchez then once again the injury news has helped, as Olivier Giroud seems likely to be fit enough for the EFL cup match at home to Reading on Tuesday. That is not a priority and it is also a game we should win with a weakened side, so key players should be able to have a week of rest.
Wenger said, “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.”
With games coming thick and fast, has the comeback of these two Arsenal stars come at the perfect time and allowed Wenger to field as strong a side as possible this weekend?
I think Wenger will play the same team as last week, except with Coquelin for Xhaka, and Elneny for Cazorla.