EXCLUSIVE | By Editor Wayne Veysey
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikel Arteta trained with Arsenal today and could make shock returns for tomorrow’s north London derby, Football Insider sources understand.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had been ruled out until after the forthcoming international break by Arsene Wenger after injuring his hamstring in the team’s League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last week.
But, as revealed by Football Insider, the England international had not given up hope of being involved against Spurs and took part in full training today.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury is believed to be healing well and he is now in contention to make an unexpected return at Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
Arteta could also figure against Spurs after being absent with foot and ankle problems since the Gunners’ 5-2 win over Leicester on 26 September.
The possible availability of the first-team pair is a huge boost to Arsene Wenger after he voiced his fears yesterday that Arsenal’s growing casualty list could derail the team’s Premier League challenge.
The Gunners could not call on 10 first-teamers as they were mauled 5-1 by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in midweek.
But there are some encouraging signs that the treatment room is getting less congested.
Wenger rates Laurent Koscielny’s chances of playing against Spurs at “80 per cent”, with the defender set to undergo a late fitness test ahead of tomorrow’s 4pm kick-off.