Striker Danny Welbeck is struggling to be fit for the Gunners' crucial top four clash against Liverpool at the Emirates, according to the Daily Mirror.

The 23-year-old picked up a knee injury in England's 4-0 thumping of Lithuania in the European qualifiers for 2016 and is unlikely to make the grade against Liverpool in what is likely to decide the fate for the top four next season.

Welbeck scored and assisted a goal for England and would have been the player to watch for Brendan Rodgers's side, who are already without Martin Skrtel for the fixture owing to suspension. Theo Walcott is likely to reclaim his place in the side at the expense of Welbeck, with the speedster being forced to sit on the bench owing to a combination of factors, with fitness and issues over his contract, which expires next summer.

Welbeck has started to hit top form for Arsenal, after a insipid start to his career at north London. The former Manchester United man scored the winner in Arsenal's 2-1 beating of the Red Devils at Old Trafford to knock them out of the FA Cup in the quarter finals.

However, Olivier Giroud's brilliant form through the middle has restricted his chances up front but has been a mainstay for the Gunners' side through the wings where he is vested with the responsibility to terrorise opposition defences.

The Gunners are already without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has a chance to return against Liverpool but Arsene Wenger will be wary of putting him back into action days after recuperating from a hamstring injury he picked up against United.

The Gunners are close to securing returns for Mathieu Debuchy, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere, who have come back into full training and are likely to play an important part in the round of fixtures scheduled for the next couple of months.