Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud faces a late fitness test to determine his suitability for the Premier League visit of Chelsea as he continues to recover from a toe injury. The France international missed the goal-laden wins at Hull City and Nottingham Forest after suffering the injury in the Champions League draw at Paris Saint-Germain, prior to being sent off.
The 29-year-old has been largely out of favour since returning from the European Championships, starting just twice for the Gunners this term and being left out altogether from the win at Watford in August. Yet he could return to the first team for the visit of Antonio Conte's side having played a full part in training on Thursday [22 September].
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey has however been ruled out until mid-October after making a slow recovery from a hamstring problem. The 25-year-old limped out of Arsenal's opening Premier League weekend defeat to Liverpool, but despite only being expected to miss a month of action he is yet to return to training.
The former Cardiff City youngster will miss this weekend's London derby, the Champions League visit of FC Basel and the trip to Burnley, and is a major doubt for Wales' World Cup qualifiers next month. Chris Coleman's men take on Austria and Georgia but may have to do so without the Arsenal man.
"We have no new injuries," manager Arsene Wenger told reporters. "Giroud has a test today to see if he can be involved, he had a training session yesterday. So he is the only one who could come back. Aaron Ramsey is still struggling with his hamstring and I don't think he will be available for our next game against Basel or Burnley. Before the [international] break he will not be available.
"It is always difficult to pick my team because everybody is doing well; we have seen that again against Nottingham Forest. It is positive; we have a balanced mature squad which is fighting for every position.
"[Giroud] is a little bit [ahead of schedule], yes, but we will see how he comes out of today's training session. With Aaron we have had a few disappointments. He was close to joining [Arsenal training] again and every time he is not completely right. He is not far but we have to be cautious."