Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks in with a great chance of winning his battle to be fit for Sunday's crunch Premier League clash with Liverpool, after taking part in full training with the first-team earlier today.
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined his team-mates at Arsenal's London Colney training ground for their final session before travelling to Merseyside, the clearest indication yet he'll help the Gunners ease what looks nothing short of a full-blown injury crisis heading into a busy run of festive fixtures.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger revealed earlier this week that he'd carry out a final fitness check on the England international, but Arsenal.com's latest photo gallery would suggest that he's responded positively to treatment on a groin injury.
Gunners very thin in central midfield
Wenger will almost certainly take something of a measured gamble on the 21-year-old tomorrow because he's desperately short of cover in central midfield.
Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Mesut Ozil are all sidelined, which forced Wenger to recall Francis Coquelin from a loan spell at Charlton to cover for lone remaining midfield anchor Mathieu Flamini late last week.
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Arsenal desperate for revenge
Oxlade-Chamberlain deputised in central midfield against Newcastle United last week and produced a magnificent performance, providing drive and quality in the final third and getting through his fair share of work in the other direction to match.
Wenger needs the same from the versatile youngster at Anfield tomorrow if Arsenal are to have any chance of claiming all three points, and gaining revenge for their devastating defeat at the hands of Liverpool in February.
Liverpool tore through the Gunners in a rampaging 5-1 victory in their last Premier League meeting, a defeat which Wenger admitted in his pre-match press conference still hurts more than nine months on.
"Liverpool scored over 100 league goals last season. Every defeat is a scar on your heart," said Wenger.
"They started off the blocks well and we were too late to get into the game."
Arsenal will hope that with Luis Suarez long gone and Alexis Sanchez in their starting XI they can show things are very different against the Reds tomorrow, with the pressure very much on for both managers to deliver the goods against a direct rival for Champions League qualification.
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