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Thursday 21
March

Arsenal

Arsenal hand duo late fitness checks

27th February 2019, 10:25 by Chris Rivers

Arsenal are waiting to see whether Alex Iwobi and Stephan Lichtsteiner will be passed fit for Wednesday's game with Bournemouth.

The pair both came off injured in Sunday's win over Southampton with Iwobi (ankle) and Lichtsteiner (back) being assessed ahead of the Cherries' clash.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is available after illness and will likely replace Lichtsteiner at right-back should the veteran Swiss star fail to pass his late fitness test.

Boss Unai Emery may opt to rotate his midfield in a bid to keep his players fresh for Saturday's north London derby with Tottenham and could bring in Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil, with the duo having started the win over Southampton on the bench.

Denis Suarez is another pushing for his first start since joining Arsenal from Barcelona on loan, although Emery has played down his chance of getting into the starting line-up, believing he is not ready for 90 minutes.

"I am very demanding of myself to find the best performance with the players," Emery said. "I think Denis Suarez is improving first with the adaptation every day and then his quality can give us a lot.

"I think it's not okay today [for him] to play 90 minutes, because he needs rhythm, but one possibility is to start tomorrow knowing that. Or, stay on the bench and after he can help us. And it's the same with other players.

"He is working every day, improving and knowing us. My philosophy is that adaptation needs time and after, little-by-little he will grow confidence and know his teammates in training and after playing matches.

Danny Welbeck (ankle), Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding (both knee) remain sidelined.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.

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