Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Aaron Ramsey is on course to return from his latest hamstring injury in the next two weeks, giving him a chance of featuring in the FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United.
The Gunners will travel to Old Trafford on March 9 to take on their rivals in what will be arguably their biggest game of the season so far. The winner of the tie will be the favourite to lift the trophy with Arsenal looking to retain it just as they did in 2003.
Ramsey limped out of Arsenal's edgy 2-1 win against Leicester City last week with initial reports fearing he would be out for longer than four weeks. However, scan results proved it to be a grade one strain with Wenger expecting him back in time for the clash.
Could he return in time?
Speaking ahead of the weekend tie against Crystal Palace, Wenger told Arsenal's official website: "Ramsey is still out. He is nine days into his three-week rehab."
Should the Welshman continue his rehabilitation unchecked he will be fit by March 1 and could even return for the mid-week clash against QPR at Loftus Road. But with this being his third hamstring injury of the season already, Wenger may err on the side of caution when they take on the Hoops.
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There is also good news for Arsenal fans with regards to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere with both closing in on a return to the first team.
More good news
Wenger confirmed Wilshere was "fine" after his return to full training with other reports suggesting he could make the squad for this weekend. On Oxlade-Chamberlain, he said: "He is close. He will join in normal training today."
While Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy remain long-term absentees, it means Arsenal could be meeting Louis van Gaal's men with a much stronger squad than the one that lost 2-1 to them earlier this season.
Who is favourite?
Both the Red Devils and the Gunners have had their problems with injuries this season but they are now coming to the end of a tough period. With both of them also fighting for a top four place in the Premier League, the FA Cup clash is likely to be a ferocious battle for supremacy.
When both squads are fully fit, Manchester United are favourites but Arsenal showed a steely determination on their last visit to the blue side of the city. They ran out 2-0 winners against Manchester City and they will be confident of doing the same again at Old Trafford.
Who do you think is favourite for this FA Cup clash? Will Aaron Ramsey's fitness prove key for Arsenal? Have your say in the comments box below!
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