Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not know when Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla will return to action after both players sustained injuries during Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Norwich City.
Sanchez has scored nine goals in 20 appearances in all competitions so far, while Cazorla has made the deep-lying playmaker role his own this season.
Wenger was also unsure when captain Mikel Arteta will return from injury.
“At the moment on Alexis, Santi and Mikel, we don’t know how long they will be out for,” Wenger told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).
The manager said striker Theo Walcott and defender Laurent Koscielny, who sustained a hip injury in Sunday’s game, could return for Saturday’s clash against Sunderland.
Walcott was in fine form before he picked up a muscular injury in the loss to Sheffield Wednesday in late October.
“We will make a decision on Saturday on Koscielny and Walcott, they could both make the squad. (Kieran) Gibbs is available again for the weekend,” Wenger said.
Arsenal, who will look to end a three-game winless run in the league against Sunderland at home on Saturday, are eyeing maximum points from what will be a “massive” festive period, winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has said.
The North London side, who are fourth in the table, kick-off their festive fixtures with a clash against leaders Manchester City on Dec. 21, then travel to the south coast to face Southampton, followed by games against relegation candidates Bournemouth and Newcastle United.
“I think it’s going to be massive. It is always really important because the games come thick and fast and if you have a good Christmas it can really start your new year off well,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
“The table can really shuffle around because there are so many games in a short space of time, so it’s very important. We are only two points off top spot, so it’s vital to capitalise on this period because I do think it’s never easy for any side.
“There are always some teams that do slip up or have a few bad results in this period, so it is obviously much better to be one of the sides that comes out of Christmas in a positive way.”