Growing stronger: Coquelin has established a smooth partnership with Elneny

By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Arsenal are hopeful Francis Coquelin can make his comeback in their FA Cup clash on Saturday week, Football Insider sources understand.

The Premier League giants are preparing to welcome the France international back into the first-team fold against Burnley in the fourth-round clash at Emirates Stadium.

Coquelin returned to full training on Thursday for the first time since suffering knee ligament damage in mid-November.

An Arsenal source has told Football Insider that Sunday’s Premier League showdown against Chelsea will come too quickly for the midfield enforcer but he should be in the reckoning for the Burnley match.

Francis Coquelin is a month ahead of schedule in his recovery from a knee injury that has sidelined him since he broke down in the defeat at West Brom on 21 November.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Arsenal did not expect the Frenchman to play again until at least March but he returned to training on Thursday morning as he targets a first-team return.

Speaking at his media conference on Thursday morning, Wenger gave an update on Coquelin and Danny Welbeck, who is also on the comeback trail.

“Coquelin’s back in full training today, ahead of schedule. Welbeck will be in full training next week,” explained the Arsenal manager.

Meanwhile, Wenger has confirmed that Mesut Ozil is back and Alexis Sanchez should also be fit for the clash against the champions.