Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Shkodran Mustafi are not ready to return to Arsene Wenger's squad for tomorrow's (18 December) clash with Manchester City.

The Gunners suffered just their second loss of the Premier League season on Monday to Everton but travel to the Etihad Stadium this weekend hoping to keep pace with league leaders Chelsea. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Wenger confirmed he will travel north with the same squad of players with none of his recent injury absentees fit to return.

That means Ramsey is set to sit out of his third game in succession having missed the victory over Stoke and the defeat at Goodison Park with a hamstring injury. Summer signing Mustafi meanwhile has been sidelined with a hamstring injury of his own.

"Ahead of Manchester City we should have the same squad who went to Everton," Wenger told a press conference. "Nobody (is) back, Ramsey is not back in time but he is closest to coming back. We have some knocks and bruises but they [the squad from Everton] should all be available again."

The duo remain on an absentee list that also still includes Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck.

Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey remains on Arsenal's injured list for their huge clash with Man City Getty

Wenger expects Ramsey to return to the squad next week and also provided another positive update on Danny Welbeck. The former Manchester United forward has not featured since May 2016 having endured an injury-hit spell in north London but is now almost ready to return to full training.

"Danny Welbeck is one week away from completing normal training,' Wenger said. "To be back in the squad; that will take some time because he wasn't played for a long, long time."

Questions over the future of Alexis Sanchez continued to dominate the agenda at the press gathering with Wenger once again quizzed on the Chile international's contract saga. The Gunners boss however would not offer an update, telling reporters: "Maybe you lack a bit of creativity to always come back with the same subject."