William Gallas, Abou Diaby nor Andrey Arshavin will make the squad for Saturday’s trip to Stoke City.

But to ease concerns over the trio’s long-term fitness, Wenger insists he is hopeful of them returning in a week’s time for the home clash with Burnley on March 6.

Gallas has failed to recover from a calf problem in time for the visit to the Brittannia Stadium while Diaby’s knee injury against Porto will keep him sidelined for another week.

And most disappointing will be the absence of Andrey Arshavin who was initially scheduled to make a return against Sunderland last week.

But Eduardo – who was last seen limping off at Villa – could resume his once fruitful strike partnership with Nicklas Bendtner if fully fit.

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“Gallas, Diaby and Arshavin are all out but Eduardo joins in training tomorrow (Friday) and we will decide after training.” Wenger said.

“We will have the same squad compared to the last game against Sunderland but I am optimistic about the three – Gallas, Diaby and Arshavin have a chance to be back the following week against Burnley.”