Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's plans for Saturday's Premier League clash with Burnley have been affected by fresh injury concerns regarding two of his key players, with Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs both struggling to prove they're capable of playing a part against the Clarets.
Wilshere has a new knee problem that must be a genuine headache for Wenger, even if the Gunners boss has been at pains to insist it's only a short-term issue.
Gibbs meanwhile is still struggling with the hip problem that forced him during last weekend's 2-0 win at Sunderland, needing a late fitness test which will decide whether Wenger needs to make yet more emergency changes to an already-patched up defence.
Expect a defensive reshuffle
If the England international full-back isn't risked then Wenger will likely draft Hector Bellerin into his starting XI to face rock-bottom Burnley, with Calum Chambers partnering Per Mertesacker at centre-back and Nacho Monreal moved to a more familiar left-back role.
Arsenal are close to going beyond even the bare bones when it comes to a makeshift rearguard, but things are more positive going forward despite the disappointing absence of a player in Wilshere who was just starting to show signs of his best form.
- Yaya Sanogo is fit to face Burnley
- Wenger told one signing can deliver the Premier League title
- Theo Walcott hints at imminent Arsenal return
Walcott will be held back
Wenger has forwards Theo Walcott and Yaya Sanogo back in contention and both have enjoyed a full week's training, but the experienced tactician is adamant he won't rush Walcott in particular back because he's been out for so long.
Walcott was an unused substitute against Sunderland and will almost certainly be on the bench again tomorrow afternoon, but expect him to feature if required for the first time since damaging his cruciate ligament back in January.
Elsewhere Arsenal are likely to largely stick with the side that proved too strong for Sunderland, which means Alexis Sanchez will again be given the freedom to shine as the Gunners go in search of back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.
Arsenal predicted XI: Szczesny, Bellerin, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey, Sanchez, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck
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