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Arsenal manager Unai Emery has delivered a positive update on the team with no injuries to report from the previous matchday in the Premier League.
The Gunners had experienced a tough festive period with a large scale of injuries hampering the defensive layout of the team but that has been resolved over the past 10 days with Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Shkodran Mustafi returning to the mix.
Speaking ahead of the Chelsea game, Emery confirmed that there are no new injuries to report though Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck are unavailable for the weekend’s London derby.
Holding and Welbeck are long-term absentees with knee and ankle injuries respectively, though Mkhitaryan should return to complete training next week after making a good recovery on the foot injury sustained in late December.
Arsenal’s defeat to West Ham United last weekend has dropped them six points behind the Blues for the final Champions League qualification spot, and this makes the upcoming derby even more crucial.
A victory would no doubt enhance the Gunners’ prospects of making the top four but Unai Emery’s side also cannot afford a negative result which would drop them nine points adrift of their cross-town rivals.
As such, Emery could be cautious with his selection for the upcoming derby and this may witness the Spaniard stick with the three-man backline which has been deployed in the past two league matches.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether Emery selects Mesut Ozil for the matchday squad after excluding the German from the recent defeat at West Ham United due to tactical reasons.