Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey will be available for Arsenal’s Premier League trip to Sunderland on Saturday.
Giroud has finally overcome a long-term toe problem, while midfielder Ramsey will feature for the first time since the opening day of the season after hamstring trouble.
Manager, Arsene Wenger, however, prefers to be cautious.
“They are available for selection. I have to be a bit cautious, especially with Aaron Ramsey, because he has not played at all yet. He has only had one week with the team so I will be a bit cautious with him.”
Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are all in a race to be fit while Lucas Perez is out for eight weeks after damaging ankle ligaments in the win over Reading in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
The manager described the Perez injury as very frustrating, especially because it came just after the player had worked very hard to start getting games.
“Of course he is absolutely gutted, because it’s an injury coming from nowhere, and a stupid one, because it was a deliberate kick. It’s a similar tackle to (the one from) Xhaka (against Swansea), but there was no red card.
“But the red card would not have helped Lucas. What is most important is that he’s out for six to eight weeks,” Wenger said.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored two goals as Arsenal booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 win over Reading.
The Championship side went into the match looking for their first ever win over the Gunners, but it was an easy win for Arsenal in the end, thanks to a double by the Ox, who seemed to be overcoming his difficult start to the season.
The brace takes his tally to five for the season – which is his best return in a season for the Gunners.
Except for Elneny and Iwobi who kept their places, Arsenal fielded a new team, including Lucas Perez, who came off the bench against Boro at the weekend.
Olivier Giroud made his return to the first-team fold as a second half substitute.
Arsenal have not won the League Cup since 1993.
Liverpool are also through to the fifth round courtesy of a brace from another England striker, Daniel Sturridge as they defeated Tottenham 2-1.
The striker opened the scoring early at Anfield after exploiting a Spurs mistake. He doubled the lead in the 60th minute
Liverpool were forced to endure a nervy end to the evening, however, as Vincent Janssen pulled one back for Tottenham with his penalty after Lucas Leiva fouled Erik Lamela in the area.
Arsenal striker, Olivier Giroud, hopes to become the latest in a long line of great French strikers to fire his country to glory at this summer’s European Championship.
The 29-year-old enters the tournament as Les Bleus’ leading scorer with 17 goals, including three in their warm-up games against Cameroon and Scotland.
Giroud grew up watching Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet win the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and would love to emulate their success on home soil.
“I was only 11 [in 1998] and it was one of my best memories as a fan of the French national team,” he told Arsenal Player.
“It was fantastic for all the French people to win the World Cup, especially at home. That’s why we want to make our French fans proud this summer.
“It was the continuity of the World Cup (when they went to Euro 2000). They confirmed their great form and almost kept the exact same squad. It is always difficult to win again two years afterwards, but they did very well with a fantastic scenario against Italy at the end of the final.
“I remember the pass from Robert Pires to Sylvain Wiltord, and then the pass to David Trezeguet who found the top-left corner. I couldn’t forget this goal.
“I also remember watching David Ginola, Eric Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin and strikers like that. I was looking to become a striker. I remember very good players like them, and also Thierry Henry, Trezeguet and Anelka too. We’ve always had very good strikers.
“It’s a great feeling (to be representing France in front of our home fans) and we’re all looking forward to that.
“We want to do well in front of our own fans so we’re going to do everything we can to bring the trophy back home.”
Jamie Vardy gave the Foxes the lead on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot before substitute Theo Walcott put the Gunners back in contention.
The win leaves Arsenal on 51 points levelled with Spurs who are second based on goal difference. Leicester City still lead with 53 points while Manchester City remain fourth with 47 points.
Also on Sunday, Liverpool trashed bottom club Aston Villa 6-0 at Villa Park with Daniel Sturridge marking his return to the Liverpool starting line-up with the opening goal.
Other Matchday 26 pairings had been decided on Saturday.
AFC Bournemouth 1 – 3 Stoke City FCStoke City Chelsea FC 5 – 1 Newcastle United Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Watford Everton 0 – 1 West Bromwich Albion Norwich City 2 – 2 West Ham United Sunderland 2 – 1 Manchester United Swansea City 0 – 1 Southampton
Arsenal lost a chance to return to the top of the English Premier League with an home loss to London rivals, Chelsea on Sunday evening.
The Gunners started the match as the brighter side to the delight of their fans but defender, Per Mertesacker, obstructed a goal chance in the 18th minute, leaving referee Mark Clattenburg with no option other than sending him off.
In quick reaction to the red card, the Gunners sacrificed striker, Olivier Giroud for defender, Gabriel Paulista but before the Brazilian could settle, the Blues took advantage of Arsenal’s nervous defending in the 23rd minute.
Diego Costa scored with an assist from Branislav Ivanovic and the first half ended 1-0.
Arsenal started the second half with more belief and Arsene Wenger’s introduction of Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 77th and 75th minutes further ensured that they remained likely to get an equalizer.
Chelsea, however, thwarted all possible chances made by the Gunners in securing a draw.
The match ended 0-1 and the victory means Chelsea remain unbeaten since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho and they have also not lost in their last nine league meetings with Arsenal.
This is Arsenal’s first home defeat since West Ham on the opening day of the season.
Arsenal have moved to the third position on the English Premier League table while Chelsea progressed to the 13th position, their highest position since October 2015.
Leicester City sit top of the league going into February, with Manchester City second.
Arsène Wenger says Arsenal have the chance to show they have made progress by beating Chelsea on Sunday.
The Gunners have not claimed a victory against their London rivals in the Premier League since their 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge in October 2011.
However, they beat the Blues in the Community Shield last August and Wenger says they further demonstrate their progress this weekend.
“It is another one where we can show we have moved forward,” he said.
“It is another game where people look at us and see how we behave because, even if Chelsea are not in the best position, you look at their squad.
“It is a big game because of the quality of players on the pitch and it has a big importance to us because we play at Emirates Stadium and we know it will be important to win these types of games.
“We have certainly proved our battling potential [this season] through big solidarity, through great togetherness and as well because we are ambitious and we have more experience than in the past,” he continued.
“One of the advantages of having experienced players is that they know that sometimes it’s just about battling and not always only about playing well.”
Gabriel and Santi Cazorla were both sent off at Chelsea in September, and Wenger says keeping cool will be key in this weekend’s game.
“We are convinced that our records against big opponents is linked with discipline,” he said, adding that the team “were a bit unlucky due to the decisions of the referee”.
“Overall, over the longer distance, I believe that we have a very strong record on the discipline front in the Premier League. We want to maintain it.”