Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny remain the only absentees from Arsene Wenger’s squad as Arsenal travel to Stoke City on Saturday.
Arsenal will look to capitalise on a strong start to the season when they travel to the Bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City on Saturday. The hosts, though, will be looking to get their first points on the board this season.
Arsene Wenger is only one week away from having a full-strength squad in training. Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez are the only two players, apart from long-term absentees Santi Cazorla (plantaris) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) who will not be at the Arsenal manager’s disposal this week.
Wilshere, though, has resumed training and could be available for selection soon while Cazorla has begun his long road to recovery with light training. But, the major absentees are Koscielny and Sanchez.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 18, 2017
The French defender is serving the last of his three-game suspension and will be back in contention next week against Arsenal. Meanwhile, Sanchez has also resumed training after recovering from an abdomen strain. But, the game against Stoke comes too soon for the Chilean who is likely to be back next week as well.
Speaking on the availability of Sanchez during his pre-match press conference Wenger said, “Alexis it looks a bit early, but he works hard in training. Our medical people think Saturday comes too soon but he should be available for the next game against Liverpool.”
One player who will no longer be considered by Wenger, though, is Gabriel, who joined Valencia this week. Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker (head) and Shkodran Mustafi (match fitness) have trained all week and will be in contention to assume a starting role for Arsenal this week.
Aaron Ramsey, too, is fit to last ninety minutes after making a lively cameo last week against Leicester. Francis Coquelin is available for selection as well, having recovered from an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, Stoke City manager Mark Hughes will be without the services of Julien Ngoy (thigh), Ibrahim Afellay (knee) and Stephen Ireland (broken leg) due to medium-to-long-term injuries. Summer arrival Jese Rodriguez, though, is in contention to start after signing on loan from PSG.