Arsenal will look to make the most of their fine start to the season when they take on Mark Hughes’ Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners have won just once in the last seven years at Stoke, and Wenger would no wonder be pleased to have the likes of Per Mertesacker back in the squad.
The Gunners had played with no recognised centre-backs in the final quarter against Leicester City on Friday night. However, they still managed to clinch three points in the curtain raiser with substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud finding the scoresheet in the dying minutes of the 4-3 triumph.
Per Mertesacker has recovered from a nasty cut above his right eye, and Wenger confirmed that the Big German will be ‘available again’ following his exclusion last week. Similarly to Per, Shkodran Mustafi and Francis Coquelin are back in the reckoning for selection. The former was on the bench for the league opener, but Wenger though against using him in the second period as he was not fully fit.
Jack Wilshere played 74 minutes of Arsenal’s Under 23s 3-2 win over Derby earlier this week. The England international is on his route to recovery, and Wenger suggests that he may feature again versus the Manchester City Under 23s on Monday night.
Apart from this, Wenger has suggested that Saturday will come ‘too soon’ for Alexis Sanchez, who is still nursing a minor abdominal strain. The Frenchman does not want his attacker to aggravate his injury, and he is looking forward to having the Chilean for the trip to Liverpool in Gameweek 3.
Aaron Ramsey made a significant impact coming from the bench against the Foxes, and he will probably step up to the starting lineup in place of Mohamed Elneny – following his recovery from a minor muscle problem.
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