Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Cazorla eyes Arsenal return

Santi Cazorla is recovering from an ankle injury

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla hopes to be fit for the Barclays Premier League trip to West Brom a week on Sunday.

Cazorla has missed the Gunners' last four matches in all competitions due to an ankle injury.

Answering questions on Thursday via Arsenal's Twitter account, the 28-year-old Spain international said: "I will be fit maybe in one week, I hope I can play at West Brom."

Prior to that game, current Premier League leaders Arsenal are at Swansea in the top flight on Saturday and then host Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday.

As well as Cazorla, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger went into Wednesday's Capital One Cup third-round tie at West Brom - which his team won 4-3 on penalties after it finished 1-1 after extra-time - without Theo Walcott (stomach), Tomas Rosicky (thigh), Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee).

Wenger hopes the gruelling efforts at The Hawthorns will not have taken too much out of those players likely to be in his plans for Saturday.

He told Arsenal Player: "We rested many players at West Brom and some others players came back like Arteta, who played 90 minutes in his first game, and Bendtner. We have to check everybody tomorrow [Friday] morning but, from last Saturday, all the players should be available.

"Rosicky should be back in the training squad on Monday so he has a chance to be available for the squad (in the Champions League against Napoli) on Tuesday.

"Saturday is too short for him, but we all love Rosicky so it is good to have him back."

At just 17, forward Chuba Akpom was the youngest player on either of the two sides on Wednesday night.

Akpom, who scored his penalty to level the shoot-out at 3-3, cannot wait for another chance of first-team action, which could well put him up against former England captain John Terry in the Chelsea defence when the next round of Capital One Cup actions resumes.

"It is one of the best feelings I have ever had. Coming on for 10 minutes at the end, playing in extra time and I scored my penalty. It is good to be part of the first team. The Capital One Cup is where I get my chance and I hope I impressed," he said.

Akpom added: "I am more than willing to play against him (Terry) or anyone. I am feeling really confident right now, so if it (another chance) comes, it comes."