Hector Bellerin facing late fitness test before Crystal Palace clash

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Football News

Arsenal travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday to face Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side, with only two fresh injury concerns.

Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy are the long-term absentees and remained sidelined, but elsewhere Wenger's latest injury update is largely positive.

Impressive young full-back Hector Bellerin is the only major doubt ahead of a return to Premier League action this weekend, while Mathieu Flamini could also miss out with a niggling hamstring complaint.

Bellerin could miss out

Wenger said: “Ramsey is still out. The two other injuries are Arteta and Debuchy. Apart from that we have some uncertainties about Flamini and Bellerin - they are doubtful for Saturday. Everybody else is OK.

“Bellerin is his ankle and Flamini has a tight hamstring. We’ll see. We’ll have tests tomorrow [Friday].”

Wilshere on verge of comeback

One positive for the Arsenal boss is that Jack Wilshere looks set to make his return to the squad for the Palace game.

The midfielder started full training last week for the first time since getting injured back in November last year. The 23-year-old damaged the ligaments in his ankle when he went in for a challenge with Paddy McNair when the Gunners faced Manchester United.

Wilshere had hoped to be fit in time for Arsenal’s FA Cup match with Middlesborough but wasn’t quite fit enough despite clearly being ahead of schedule in his recovery.

Wenger said “Jack is fine”, so he can expect to be in the squad on Saturday, but it is highly unlucky that he will start the game after such a long lay off.

Oxlade-Chamberlain update

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also been sidelined for some time now with a hamstring injury and will likely miss the Palace game, but is on the road back to fitness.

Wenger said: “He is close. He will join in normal training today.”

Arsenal have won seven and lost none of their last 10 meetings with, Palace so Wenger will be confident his side can get a result in a capital clash where in truth only maximum points will suffice.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arsene Wenger
Jack Wilshere

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