By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal have been handed a quadruple boost ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final clash.
Per Mertesacker and Gabriel are set to overcome injury scares, Hector Bellerin returns and Laurent Koscielny could be back after three matches on the sidelines.
Arsene Wenger gave an Arsenal team news update at his media briefing on Friday afternoon ahead of a pivotal few days in which the Gunners host Watford in Sunday’s quarter-final before travelling to Barcelona in the second leg of a last-16 Champions League tie and then a trip to Everton in the Premier League title race.
Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Aaron Ramsey were all forced off during the 4-0 FA Cup win at Hull on Tuesday night.
Wenger is confident the centre-back pair will be available for selection to face Watford.
“Gabriel and Mertesacker should be available,” the manager said. “Koscielny is not far and will have a test on Saturday. Bellerin is available.”
TEAM NEWS: “Koscielny is not far. Bellerin is available. Gabriel and Mertesacker should be available.” https://t.co/fh4FyeG5tv
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 11, 2016
However, Wenger delivered less optimistic news on the condition of Aaron Ramsey as he admitted that, as revealed by Football Insider on Wednesday afternoon, the midfielder is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Asked if Ramsey could be out for the rest of the season with the thigh injury he sustained at Hull, Wenger said: “I don’t think that. The clinical signs are quite positive. I would say four weeks.”
Ramsey joins Koscielny and Petr Cech on the sidelines as well as long-term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky.