Arsenal have been handed a triple fitness boost ahead of the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspurs this Saturday at Wembley.
Earlier in the week it had been reported that Ospina was certain to start in goal for the Gunners, but it seems Cech, still chasing his 200th Premier League clean sheet, will be fit to start between the sticks.
Another good news is that goal scoring machine Monreal has also recovered from the bout of sickness that saw him substituted at half time during Arsenal’s 5-1 home win against Everton. Monreal has been in fine form in front of goal lately, which Arsenal fans hope can continue against their bitter rivals.
Although he is unlikely to start, Danny Welbeck’s return to fitness is another welcome boost for Arsene Wenger, as it will provide him with an alternative option from the bench should Arsenal need to chase the game. Welbeck has had a frustrating time at Arsenal, as whenever he seems to hit a run of form it is often cruelly curtailed by an injury. Hopefully he can stay fit and take advantages of opportunities that will no doubt offered to him in the Europa League to earn a place in the England squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia.
The only sad news is that there is no an update on Santi Cazorla’s situation yet. From all indication, it is very very unlikely that we ever see Cazorla play for the club again. I hope I am wrong but it feels like it so far.
All in all, this triple fitness boost should raise morale ahead of the clash this weekend, with Cech and Monreal particularly vital to Arsenal’s hopes of providing a solid base for their attacking players to cause damage. The added gloss of course being that Monreal has been getting his fair share of assists and goals due to his timing of runs forward from his left back role.
Arsenal will be hoping that finally Cech can record his 200th clean sheet and provide the foundation for a desperately needed win for Arsenal to keep their hopes of automatic qualification for the Champion’s League alive.
After the feel good factor around the Emirates provided by the positive home debuts of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, this is the real test of whether the former Dortmund team mates can make the required difference to this Arsenal side and propel them forwards after the demoralising sale of Sanchez.
To add extra spice, there is every possibility that this may be Arsene Wenger’s last North London Derby, with speculation that he may yet leave in the summer. He will eager more than anyone else to ensure he leaves Wembley with three points.