Coquelin to Make Early Return

Arsenal’s defensive midfielder, Francis Coquelin, has recovered from injury almost a month ahead of schedule and is fit to feature in the club’s fourth round FA Cup clash against Burnley, according to manager Arsene Wenger.

Coquelin suffered a knee injury in a Premier League defeat to West Brom in November and was initially expected to make a return in mid-February.

However, Wenger said the Frenchman will be available for Saturday’s visit of the Sky Bet Championship side, with Tomas Rosicky also in line to make his first appearance of the season.

“Francis is available to play now because he has passed two weeks of full training. Tomas is also available for selection,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website.

Midfielders Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are still on the sidelines, but striker Danny Welbeck, who has not featured for the Gunners since April 2015, is close to returning to action.

“Jack and Santi are progressing well, but they are at least a few weeks away. But these two apart, it is just about competitiveness and match fitness,” Wenger said.

“Danny Welbeck is not completely ready, but he is not far. He needs a game or two because he’s been out since last April. The Stoke [U21] game [on January 30] is too soon because he only had one session with the team, and that is too short.”

Arsenal has surrendered their spot at the top of the Premier League and slipped to third place, three points behind leaders, Leicester City, after failing to win their last three matches. They host Southampton in the league on Tuesday.



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