Alexis Sanchez Arsenal Scott Arfield Burnley
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez scored a goal and laid on an assist in the 2-1 win over BurnleyReuters

Arsenal will have Alexis Sanchez raring to have a go at Southampton when the two sides meet in the English Premier League on Tuesday at the Emirates.

The Gunners forward hasn't started a Premier League game since November, but came on as a substitute in the 1-0 loss to Chelsea, before playing from the start against Burnley in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Arsenal have certainly missed the Chile international's creativity, desire and quality in front of goal, and with Arsene Wenger's team suffering a sooner-forgotten-the-better 4-0 loss to Southampton on Boxing Day, Sanchez's presence could be key to gaining a measure of revenge.

One player who will not feature in Arsenal's title challenge for the next few weeks, though, is Tomas Rosicky, after the midfielder suffered a setback on return from another long-term injury. Rosicky made an appearance as a substitute in Arsenal's 2-1 win over Burnley after nearly eight months out, but ended up picking up a thigh problem, which looks like keeping him out for several weeks.

"He has a thigh problem, a muscular tendon problem, but we don't know how bad it is," Wenger told the club's official website when asked about the Czech playmaker. "It happened three or four minutes after he came on [against Burnley] and we have to assess him. He's not available for a while."

While Rosicky struggles to make his comeback, another player in the same unfortunate spotlight is Jack Wilshere, who Wenger, last week, said would take another six weeks to return to first team action. The Arsenal manager, though, seemed a lot more optimistic on Monday, with Wenger hopeful Wilshere can make a comeback early next month.

"He is looking good," Wenger said of Wilshere. "I had a short chat with [England manager] Roy Hodgson about him and reassured him that he is progressing well. I'm cautious but I will say four weeks [until he returns]."

Wilshere has not played a single competitive game this season, much the same as Danny Welbeck, who is on the fast track to a much-awaited return. Having returned to training, Wenger will give the former Manchester United forward a run-out with the U-21s, before bringing him to the first team fold.

"Danny has not played since April 2015 and will have to go through a game or two with the under-21s, where we can monitor him and leave him free to play at his level of commitment," Wenger said. "That looks to be very soon, maybe this week."

Arsenal will also be without Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker, who is suspended, while the club loaned Mathieu Debuchy out to Bordeaux on January transfer window deadline day. The likes of Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal should return to the starting lineup, while Mohamed Elneny, after a promising debut, and Francis Coquelin, who returned from two months out against Burnley, will also want to feature.

Southampton, like Arsenal, could also give one of their potent strikers a start on Tuesday, with manager Ronald Koeman hinting at the inclusion of January signing Charlie Austin. The Englishman made an immediate impact by scoring the winner against Manchester United on debut, and Koeman will hope the striker has an even bigger role to play against Arsenal.

Fellow striker Graziano Pelle, though, is a doubt, while Steven Davis, Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos stay on the injury list.

Expected lineups: Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.

Southampton: Forster; Soares, Van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Wanyama, Clasie; Mane, Tadic, Long; Austin.

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