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Team news: Alexis a "gamble" for Stoke, Elneny available

The Chilean faces a fitness test, while Arsenal's new signing is available.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez's long-awaited return could yet be delayed, with Arsène Wenger admitting on Friday that the Chilean's selection could be a "gamble":

Alexis I would say has a 60:40 chance to be available and be back in the squad. He has two decisive days - Friday and Saturday. He is fit, he has worked very hard and the decision we have to take is whether to take a gamble or not on his injury.

While the club has won 7 out of the 9 games without Alexis, his return could ease some of the reliance on Mesut Özil, while also allowing Arsenal to move Theo Walcott from his ineffective role on the left. While there is a case to make that Alexis should play on the right on his return, the form of Joel Campbell is too good to justify dropping him at the moment.

Mohamed Elneny will be available for selection, and presumably on the bench, with an away trip at the Britannia not the ideal time to throw a player in for their debut.

Tomas Rosicky is nearing a return to the first team, but needs game time, with Wenger hoping for the Czech to play for the Under-21s, much as Mikel Arteta did last week. Danny Welbeck is only "2-3 weeks away", but given that he's been in this position quite a few times before, skepticism on that front remains appropriate.