Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez set to be available vs. Chelsea - Wenger
LONDON -- Arsene Wenger has said Mesut Ozil will definitely be available for Arsenal's game against Chelsea on Sunday, while he also expects Alexis Sanchez to make his return.
Ozil missed last weekend's 0-0 draw at Stoke with a foot inflammation, while Sanchez has been out since November with a hamstring injury.
Wenger said he hoped Sanchez would be back for the Chelsea clash but was still taking a cautious approach over the Chile forward.
"The good news is that Ozil certainly will be available," the Arsenal boss told a news conference. "For Sanchez the next two days will decisive, but I think this time he will make it to be available for selection."
Sanchez has been back in full training since last week, but Wenger opted not to gamble on his fitness against Stoke and remains unsure whether he is ready to be thrown into a such an important game.
"The doubt is that he has been out for a long time and there is a greater risk of a setback if you try to go too early," he said. "The intensity of a big game [is something] you can never repeat in a training session.
"We are cautious with him because we cannot afford a setback, but the signs he showed in training this week have been positive."
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Having Sanchez back would be a big boost for Arsenal as they try to underline their title credentials with a win against their London rivals at the Emirates.
The Gunners top the standings on goal difference, while Chelsea are in 14th after struggling all season.
"The strikers give you goal scoring, and I feel sometimes in games when you have 70 minutes gone and you have a strong bench it gives you a big chance to win the game, so this variety of problems you can give to opponents is very important," Wenger said.
The manager added that Francis Coquelin is back in training ahead of schedule this week after suffering a knee injury in November but still needs time to regain match fitness, while Danny Welbeck -- who has not played all season -- will be back in training next week.
"We're going through a very important period now and having players available is really important for us," Wenger said.
Meanwhile, the manager warned that Chelsea would pose the same tough challenge even without manager Jose Mourinho, who left the club in December.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.