Arsene Wenger has said Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez will feature in Sunday’s friendly against Manchester City but isn’t sure whether they are fit enough to start against Liverpool.
Ramsey and Sanchez returned to full training on Thursday after extended summer breaks and sat out Friday’s 8-0 win over Viking in Norway.
Speaking ahead of the City game, being played in Sweden, Wenger said: “Yes, they’ll play a part in the game — both of them are in reasonably good form physically already.
“I took this Friday and Sunday to give competition to everybody, so we’ll see how much and how long I will play them.”
On Friday, Wenger confirmed that Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny would all miss the Liverpool game because they are yet to return to training following their Euro 2016 campaigns.
But he said he hoped Ramsey and Sanchez would be able to play, adding: “I don’t rule it out. I want to see how fit they are tomorrow, how much they can cope with the intensity of the game and how they respond to that.
“We will make a decision afterwards — it’s possible.”
Wenger said Sanchez was about “90 percent” after the ankle injury he suffered in the Copa America final in June.
But the Arsenal boss added that he believed the break the Chile forward had after the tournament should mean he is ready.
“The problem with Sanchez is to be cautious with him because it’s nearly impossible,” he said. “But you know what I did, I gave him a long break because I know that this was needed for him.
“I know as well that you give Sanchez five weeks holiday, he will stay quiet one week and after he will start to run everywhere and he comes back fit.
“I hope I got it right, that he had a good rest and regenerated a little bit, because he looks alright. We will see on Sunday.”
Centre-back Per Mertesacker is out with a long-term knee injury, leaving Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Krystian Bielik competing for a spot alongside Gabriel Paulista in central defence until Koscielny comes back.
Wenger said one of the three was likely to start against Liverpool.
“I might use a few combinations during the Man City game. But I believe with Bielik, Chambers and Holding, it will be between the three,” he added.
Sunday will see Arsenal’s first meeting with former captain Mikel Arteta, who joined City’s coaching staff after retiring as a player.
“It will be weird for us to see him on the wrong bench. That’s a new role for him, and it was a good opportunity for him as well,” Wenger said.
“He wants to a manager in the future, and the best way is to learn to the job from the top managers.”