Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is unlikely to be ready for the club's Premier League clash with Liverpool on 13 January, while Danny Welbeck is at least three weeks off his return. The 27-year-old has not played since limping off against Norwich City in late November with a hamstring problem that ruled him out for the rest of 2015.

The Chile international was expected to return in time for the clash with Manchester City on 22 December but a setback delayed his return further. However, in an injury update on 7 January, Wenger explained Sanchez was "not quite ready" for the FA Cup third-round clash with Sunderland on 9 January. Speaking to the press on 8 January, the Gunners boss explained the meeting with Stoke City on 17 January was a more realistic return date.

When quizzed on the Chilean's fitness, Wenger told reporters via Arsenal Player: "Liverpool will come too soon, maybe for Stoke."

Welbeck meanwhile has not played a game since April 2015 having been beset by knee problems that led to him undergoing surgery in September. The former Manchester United forward suffered a setback in his recuperation, which delayed his return further, with Wenger now confident the 25-year-old is "three or four weeks" away from a return.

The Arsenal manager was also quizzed on the future of winger Serge Gnabry. The 20-year-old is currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion but has not played for the first team since making a cameo appearance off the bench in August.

His involvement at the Baggies has been consigned to the Under-21 side, prompting suggestions Arsenal will look to recall the player. But Wenger has indicated that is not the case, telling reporters West Brom have also not decided cancel the loan deal yet.

He said: "Gnabry is a year-long loan. We have a commitment, the player wanted to got here, we have a commitment with West Brom. If they want to cancel they have to contact us but at the moment we are not there."