Arsenal have confirmed Sokratis has returned to full training but six other players will miss Monday night’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Bournemouth.
Sokratis sat out Tuesday night’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after being struck down by illness. However, the Greek centre-back has returned to training and should be passed fit for the trip to the Vitality Stadium on Monday.
His availability will be important as Calum Chambers won’t play again this season due to an ACL injury while David Luiz is suspended after being sent off against Chelsea in midweek. Shkodran Mustafi started at Stamford Bridge but yet again what a liability he is so he should be nowhere near the first team.
Mikel Arteta will continue to have problems at left-back as Sead Kolasinac has been ruled out until next month with a thigh strain and Kieran Tierney won’t be back until March following shoulder surgery.
Bukayo Saka has filled-in superbly well in recent games but appeared to pick up a knee injury against Chelsea so he may not be risked against Bournemouth. If Arteta gives Saka a rest we could see youngster Marc Bola given a run out.
Elsewhere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will serve the final game of his three-match suspension while Reiss Nelson remains out with a hamstring injury that will keep him on the sidelines until after the winter break.
The latest team news on Arsenal.com confirmed today:
Suspended. Further to receiving a red card at Crystal Palace (a) on January 11, suspended for Monday’s game at Bournemouth.
Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on December 29. Successful surgery completed. Rehabilitation process expected to take between six and nine months.
Left thigh strain. Hoping to return to full training in the winter break period after Burnley (a) on February 2.
Suspended. Further to receiving red card at Chelsea (a) on January 21, suspended for Monday’s game at Bournemouth.
Right hamstring. Hoping to return to full training in the winter break period after Burnley (a) on February 2.
Back in full training further to illness. Being assessed ahead of Bournemouth (a).
Right shoulder. Dislocated right shoulder during West Ham Utd (a) on December 9. Successful surgery completed. Good progress being made in rehabilitation process with participation in regular outdoor fitness sessions. Aiming to return to full training in March.
So Arteta still has plenty of injury and suspension problems to deal with meaning his squad rotation options are limited on Monday. However, I still expect him to make a few changes with the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock, Dani Ceballos and Eddie Nketiah all set to feature.
Let’s hope whatever team Arteta puts out is competitive as Arsenal really need a good run in the FA Cup as we’ve got very little left to play for in the Premier League this season.