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Arsenal duo ruled out of Palace clash but attacker declared ‘fit’

By on December 30, 2016

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott are set to miss Arsenal’s clash with Crystal Palace this weekend but there was good news on Danny Welbeck.

Gibbs was handed a rare opportunity in the Premier League after starting against West Bromwich Albion on Monday afternoon with Nacho Monreal left on the bench.

However, Gibbs limped off during the second half after taking a kick to his knee and the boss says the left-back is now expected to miss Sunday’s visit of Palace to the Emirates.

The good news is that scans showed it’s just inflammation around his knee so Gibbs shouldn’t be out for too long – although Tuesday’s trip to Bournemouth may come too soon for the defender.

Walcott  missed the win over West Brom last time out after picking up a minor calf problem but unfortunately it looks like he’ll also sit out this weekend’s action.

And with so little time before the Bournemouth game, you’d think that Walcott will also be a major doubt for the trip to the south coast.

Wenger told the Mirror:

“I don’t think that Gibbs will be available. Walcott has a calf problem, I don’t think he will be available for Sunday.”

However, there was a more positive update on the fitness of Welbeck as Wenger has described the attacker as being ‘fit’ and looking ‘sharp’ in training after finally recovering from his latest injury.

Welbeck has been out since suffering knee cartilage damage against Man City way back in May of last season but he’s back in full training and is now close to making his playing comeback.

It’s going to be a huge boost to have him available again – although Arsene is yet to decide whether to bring Danny straight back in to the first team fold or give him a run out with the under-23’s first.

He told Arsenal.com:

“He’s [Welbeck] fit, he’s sharp. Will I involve him in the short-term or not, or will I play him first in a game with the under-23s? I have not decided yet, but in training he looks quite good.”

As I reported earlier, Shkodran Mustafi is set to return to the squad this weekend after recovering from a hamstring injury so I expect the German international to replace Gabriel at the back.

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