Arsenal held their first training session of 2016 today as the squad prepared for Saturday’s game at home to Newcastle United, with seven youngsters in attendance.
Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide were amongst those involved and the wingers are expected to make the bench for the game tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Dan Crowley, Chris Willock, Ben Sheaf, Glen Kamara and goalkeeper Matt Macey were also selected to train with the squad. Crowley has mainly been working with Arsenal’s U21 side since returning from his loan spell at Barnsley.
As far as the first-team players are concerned, Mikel Arteta is back in full training but, on account of his lack of match fitness, the Spaniard is unlikely to be considered for inclusion tomorrow.
Kieran Gibbs, however, is fit after suffering with cramp towards the end of the victory over Bournemouth, whilst Mathieu Flamini, who missed the game against the Cherries, was involved in today’s session.
Arsenal still have six senior players out injured. Alexis Sanchez, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem, could be back for the FA Cup tie at home to Sunderland next weekend.
Tomas Rosicky, who hasn’t featured all season because of a knee injury, is scheduled to return to full training in three weeks’ time.
Jack Wilshere (calf) and Danny Welbeck (knee) could return in February along with Francis Coquelin, who has also been struggling with a knee problem. Santi Cazorla, who has a similar issue, isn’t likely to return until March.
Mathieu Debuchy continued to train with the squad today despite there being a chance he could leave the club this month.
There could be several changes to the side tomorrow, with Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny poised to return to the starting line-up after being rested against Bournemouth. Manager Arsene Wenger may also consider resting Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud.
Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Giroud, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide.