Arsenal: Jack Wilshere set to return for Liverpool trip while Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should be fit to travel

The Premier League fixture at Anfield begins a testing two-month schedule for the Gunners in which they will face all of their main rivals as well as Bayern Munich

Arsenal look set to be handed a boost head of their gruelling run of fixtures by the return of Jack Wilshere from injury, while they are also confident both Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit despite picking up knocks in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Arsene Wenger had already made his permitted three substitutions when both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arteta pulled up with what looked to be muscular injuries, although they were later described as “knocks” and nothing more.

20-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain has only recently returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for five months, but made his first start since the opening day of the season last Sunday to net both goals in the win over the Eagles.

Wilshere was unavailable for the victory at the Emirates due to an ankle injury he picked up in the FA Cup fourth round win over Coventry last month, but he is expected to return for the crucial match against Liverpool on Saturday that kicks off their testing string of matches.

The Gunners will face the Reds at Anfield before four home games in a row against Manchester United, Liverpool again (in the FA Cup fifth round) Bayern Munich in the Champions League and resurgent Sunderland.

With Aaron Ramsey expected to be out for at least five weeks after aggravating a thigh injury, and Mathieu Flamini currently suspended after picking up a three-match ban for a rash challenge in the 2-2 draw with Southampton, Wenger moved in the transfer window to bring in midfield cover in the form of experienced Swede Kim Kallstrom.

However, it quickly emerged that the 31-year-old has signed for the club with a “micro-fracture” in one of his vertebrae that could see him sidelined for up to six weeks, and Wenger admitted that he did know about the injury when he signed the midfielder on a loan until the end of the season from Spartak Moscow.

Should he take six weeks to recover, Kallstrom will miss the above fixtures as well as the March run of games against Stoke, Swansea, the second-leg against Bayern and the north London derby with Tottenham, while his participation in the clash with Chelsea six days later would also be in jeopardy given his lack of playing time.

Thomas Vermaelen’s return has been slightly delayed after the defender picked up a new calf injury to add to his existing knee problem, although he has not been ruled out of this weekend’s trip to Merseyside. The Belgian is also the subject of a big money move to Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, although it is not known whether the club captain would be willing to leave with the Gunners currently top of the Premier League.

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living