Unai Emery has been handed a major boost after Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny returned to full training ahead of Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.
Koscielny received treatment for almost ten minutes during Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup last Friday. It was initially feared the French defender had suffered a fractured jaw, but scans later revealed only bruising and soft tissue swelling.
Arsenal’s defence has been depleted recently but Koscielny has been able to join his team-mates in taking part in full training ahead of this weekend’s action.
The Gunners travel to City on Sunday having broke back into the top four of the Premier League after beating Cardiff City 2-1 on Tuesday.
Manchester City lost their fourth league game of the season away at Newcastle United on the same day, with the gap to leaders Liverpool now at five points.
While Koscielny is expected to start against City, Arsenal boss Emery could be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the Etihad. Following Arsenal’s narrow victory over Cardiff, Emery said: ‘We are happy.
In the first half we didn’t deserve to go in winning and in the second half we played better, controlled the match better and created more chances.
‘We started well in the first 10 minutes then I was not surprised with the performance as Cardiff worked very well.
‘We struggled a lot in the match but it’s very important to get the three points. We know each match is difficult and we are happy – the difference is small details.’
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock added: ‘They should’ve had a penalty in the first half and I spoke at half time so for Bruno (Ecuele Manga) to dive in like that again is disappointing.