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Team News: Arsenal duo face tests ahead of Chelsea, star to return
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud will face fitness tests ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Chelsea but Danny Welbeck is set to return.
Oxlade-Chamberlain came on to replace Aaron Ramsey during the early stages of Tuesday’s defeat to Watford after the Welshman picked up a calf problems that’s going to keep him out for three weeks.
Worryingly The Ox finished the game limping after taking a kick to his knee in the second half and the boss has now confirmed that the 23-year-old will face a late fitness test this afternoon.
However, Wenger says he’s confident Oxlade-Chamberlain should be passed fit which is a huge relief as we’re down to the bare bones in midfield with Granit Xhaka suspended, Santi Cazorla injured and Mohamed Elneny at the AFCON.
Therefore, Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to line-up alongside Francis Coquelin in midfield against Chelsea tomorrow with youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles set for a place on the bench.
The boss has also revealed that Giroud will need a late test after being forced off at half time against Watford with an ankle injury but Arsene believes the striker should be fit for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
However, Giroud may find himself on the bench tomorrow as Danny Welbeck is set to return to the squad after being rested against Watford in midweek.
Danny has only recently returned to fitness following seven months out and made his first start of the season last weekend where he scored twice during the 5-0 win over Southampton.
Understandably the club are being cautious with him but I hope we see Welbeck leading the line against Chelsea tomorrow as we’re a far more dangerous side with him or Sanchez through the middle.
At Colney. Wenger: "We lose Ramsey. Giroud has a test but should be alright. Maybe Welbeck will come back. Chamberlain should be alright."
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) February 3, 2017