Red hot: Mascherano says Sanchez was a key player at Barcelona

By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Arsenal have been given a double fitness boost ahead of Sunday’s Premier League showdown against Chelsea.

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

Arsenal’s star duo missed the team’s goal-less draw at Stoke last Sunday as Arsene Wenger chose to wrap them in cotton wool ahead of the landmark Premier League fixture against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium.

Ozil missed the game with what the Gunners claimed was a minor foot injury while Sanchez was deemed to be too much of a gamble to make his long-awaited return.

Speaking at his media briefing on Thursday morning, Wenger said: “Ozil will be available, Sanchez has the two days to prove it but I think this time will be available.

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“The doubt is that [Sanchez] has been out for a long time and it is a great risk of a setback. He has cleared on all the tests. That’s one thing. Then he has to clear training.

“I am cautious with him. We do not want to take a gamble but the signs he has shown in training are good.”

The Chilean has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury at Norwich on 29 November.

He has had a series of setbacks in his increasingly complicated recovery and, despite taking part in full training last Saturday, was deemed to be only 95 per cent fit by Wenger.

As revealed by Football Insider, the Arsenal manager is fearful that Sanchez could be out for another three months if he aggravates his hamstring problem.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard is closing in on his comeback for the Premier League champions although Diego Costa is struggling to be available.