Arsene Wenger is set to welcome Arsenal duo Nacho Monreal and Aaron Ramsey back from injury soon, while he has also seemingly expressed hope that Olivier Giroud could be in a position to return for the second of three high-profile meetings with Chelsea in mid-January.
Versatile defender Monreal limped out of last Friday's (22 December) six-goal thriller against Liverpool after suffering an ankle injury in the first half, while midfielder Ramsey has not featured since straining his hamstring during the closing stages of the 1-1 draw at Southampton earlier this month.
Back-up forward Giroud, meanwhile, also sustained a hamstring issue in the Carabao Cup quarter-final victory over West Ham United.
All three of those players - plus long-term absentee Santi Cazorla - will be absent on Thursday night as the Gunners, now sixth in the Premier League after the Boxing Day festivities and four points adrift of the top four, make the short trip to south London to face a resurgent Crystal Palace side that have managed to climb out of the bottom three under Roy Hodgson.
However, Ramsey should return to training in time for Arsenal's top-flight clash with Chelsea on 3 January, while Monreal and Giroud could both be back for the second midweek meeting in seven days against Antonio Conte's side - the Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg tie at Stamford Bridge.
The FA Cup holders take on West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Eve and face Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Swansea City in January in addition to a quick return fixture against Palace and the second leg of their last-four meeting with Chelsea.
"Nacho Monreal is out of course because he got injured [against Liverpool], Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are out as well and that's basically it," Wenger said of his latest team news at a press conference held before the visit to Selhurst Park.
"Nacho Monreal I would say hopefully 10 days, Giroud as I said before is four to six weeks, but he is a quick healer so I am hopeful he will be less. Aaron Ramsey should be back at the beginning of January."
Wenger stated definitively that he would not seek to replace Giroud during the forthcoming transfer window, clarifying that the daunting four to six week time frame was backdated to when he initially suffered the injury.
"No, Olivier Giroud will be back in January," he insisted when questioned regarding a replacement. "Yes, I said four to six weeks, but the incident happened on the 10th of December, so the 10th of January or 15th he should hopefully be back."
Sam Allardyce recently suggested that Giroud's wife Jennifer had played a key role in preventing her husband from joining Everton during the summer transfer window due to a desire not to move any further north than Watford and would seemingly render another future approach unlikely. However, Wenger does not believe that was the reason such a deal never materialised.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "He could have joined Everton and stayed basically in London. I don't think that was the problem."