Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects to have two key players back for the Premier League showdown with champions Chelsea on Sunday.
Playmaker Mesut Ozil (foot) and forward Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) are both making good progress in their recoveries from injury and Wenger is hopeful of having both men in contention for the clash with the Blues at the Emirates Stadium.
The Frenchman told reporters at his pre-match press conference: “Ozil certainly will be available and Sanchez, the next two days will be decisive, but I think this time he will make it.”
Germany international Ozil missed the goalless draw at Stoke City last weekend with a slight toe problem, while Chile frontman Sanchez has not featured since November due to hamstring issues.
Their returns will come as timely boosts to the Gunners, who have drawn their last two league games at Liverpool and Stoke to see their lead at the top of the table shrunk down to mere goal difference.
And Arsenal also have to upset the recent head-to-head record between themselves and the Blues on Sunday, with the Gunners without a win in their last eight league meetings with Chelsea.
Their last success came in October 2011, when they won an eight-goal thriller 5-3 at Stamford Bridge, with hat-trick hero Robin van Persie scoring twice in the final five minutes to decide the outcome.
The two sides have already met twice this season, with Wenger’s side winning 1-0 in the Community Shield and the Blues securing a 2-0 league victory at the Bridge in mid-September.
Arsenal are available at 2.05 to defeat Chelsea on Sunday and are 1.73 to be the first team to score, with the Gunners 4.20 to win a match in which both teams score.