Team news: Arsenal confirm huge triple injury boost ahead of Man City trip

By on January 31, 2019

hector-bellerin-arsenal-2018

Arsenal have confirmed a huge injury boost ahead of Sunday’s trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on defending Premier League champions Manchester City.

Laurent Koscielny was forced off during our FA Cup defeat to Manchester United earlier this month after suffering a suspected broken jaw following an accidental clash with Romelu Lukaku.

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However, it was later confirmed the centre-back had only suffered bruising and while Koscielny did have to undergo a minor operation to remove a blood clot, the defender has been able to return to full training ahead of Sunday’s trip to City.

Arsenal have also revealed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could make his comeback after missing the win over Cardiff City with a minor knee injury. The versatile midfielder will be given a late fitness test to see if he can return to action on Sunday.

In a triple boost, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is close to making his comeback from a foot injury that’s kept him out since before Christmas. The Armenian international will be assessed ahead of the City game but Mkhitaryan is expected to be in the squad.

There is also an update on Hector Bellerin and the full-back has undergone successful surgery on a ruptured cruciate knee ligament that he sustained during the win over Chelsea earlier this month. Bellerin will miss the rest of the season but he’s ready to start his long road to recovery.

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Sokratis will also miss the City game this weekend as he’s not due back in full training until the end of February due to an ankle injury so he’s on the sidelines along with Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck.

An update on Arsenal.com said:

Hector Bellerin
Had successful surgery in Spain on Wednesday to repair an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee. Has now commenced recovery and rehabilitation programme.

Laurent Koscielny
Returned to full training further to bruising and soft tissue swelling to face and jaw.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Right knee. Being assessed ahead of Manchester City (a).

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Right foot. Being assessed ahead of Manchester City (a).

Sokratis
Left ankle. Expected to return to full training by the end of February.

Rob Holding
Left knee. Recovering after surgery.

Danny Welbeck
Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

It would be a huge boost for Arsenal if Koscielny is fit to start on Sunday as we’re down to the bare bones in central defence without him. Nacho Monreal did a decent job against Cardiff at home on Tuesday night but Man City away is a different level and we’d be much stronger with Koscielny marshalling the back four.

Hopefully Maitland-Niles and Mkhitaryan can also pass late fitness tests to give us valuable options at right-back and in attack as we look to cement ourselves in fourth place with a positive result against City.

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