Arsenal V West Brom at Emirates Stadium : Match Preview

By
24 December 2016
Arsenal V West Brom - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey facing late fitness test ahead of West Brom game

Aaron Ramsey faces a late fitness test for Arsenal's Boxing Day Premier League clash with West Brom at the Emirates Stadium.

The Wales midfielder has only made 10 Gunners appearances in an injury-hit campaign, and is bidding to shake off his latest hamstring problem.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has failed to beat his own hamstring issue in time to face West Brom, while Danny Welbeck is back in training after knee trouble but still some way off a return.

"There's good news in that Welbeck will join in training, for the first time having been out for a long time," said Wenger.

"I'm cautious with Ramsey but even more cautious with Welbeck because he'll need some time.

"Of course it's fantastic for him to be back, because for him it's like starting a new career because he's been out for such a long time. So we have to be patient.

"I don't know if Ramsey will be involved (against West Brom) but he's back in training today."

Wenger hopes Ramsey can finally shake off his litany of problems.

Asked if a fully-fit Ramsey could feel like a new signing, Wenger replied: "Yes, because because he's not played many games, maybe only two since the start of the season.

"But let's not be too premature, he's had some setbacks and I hope this time he'll be all right.

"He's efficient offensively, has a high level of activity and is a complete box-to-box player."

James Morrison is a doubt for West Brom after suffering from flu this week.

The midfielder did not train until Friday, when he remained separate from the main group, and the Baggies will assess him before their game at the Emirates Stadium.

Jonny Evans could return after missing the last two matches with a calf injury while Saido Berahino is still unlikely to be in the squad as he tries to regain fitness having not played since September.

Evans, linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer, has shone for Albion since a B#6million move from Manchester United in 2015 and McAuley understands why the Gunners were said to be interested.

"I was talking to Brunty (Chris Brunt) about this and we were saying, at United, Jonny was probably made a bit of scapegoat. He was an easy target," fellow defender Gareth McAuley said.

"When he was leaving (United) a few of the bigger clubs, because of that, weren't interested. He has come to us and shown his quality. Now they will all be interested in him again but he's happy here and that's great to see. It might take something ridiculous to get him."


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