Arsenal confident Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be fit for Bournemouth clash

Sokratis Papastathopoulos missed Arsenal's clash with Chelsea after picking up an illness
Sokratis Papastathopoulos missed Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea after picking up an illness (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal expect Sokratis Papastathopoulos to be available for their FA Cup fourth-round clash with Bournemouth on Monday night.

Sokratis came down with an illness ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Stamford Bridge and the 31-year-old defender played no part as Mikel Arteta’s side held Chelsea to a 2-2 draw.

David Luiz was sent off in 26th minute of the match and has been slapped with a three-game suspension which leaves Arteta short of options at centre-back.

Granit Xhaka filled in alongside Shkodran Mustafi following Luiz’s sending off and the Swiss may have been used as an emergency option at Dean Court, but Sokratis is winning his race to be fit for the clash.

According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal are ‘confident’ the Greece international will have fully recovered from his bug in time to feature versus the Cherries.

Though Rob Holding came on as a second-half substitute against Chelsea on Tuesday night, Arteta has been reluctant to overuse the Englishman following his serious knee injury.

The north London club are also without Calum Chambers until the summer after the defender ruptured a knee ligament last month.

Luiz was given his marching orders in the first half at Stamford Bridge
Luiz was given his marching orders in the first half at Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)

Arteta said Luiz was ‘disappointed’ to have been sent off against former club Chelsea, but watched on with pride as his team-mates managed to salvage a draw at Stamford Bridge.

‘It was a very special game for him obviously and to get sent off in the way he did he was disappointed but proud of his team-mates at the same time,’ the Spaniard said.

‘I watched it from different angles and from different angles it looked a little bit different.

‘The decision was made and we have to accept it.’

Arteta's side travel to Dean Court on Monday evening
Arteta’s side travel to Dean Court on Monday evening (Picture: Getty)

On Xhaka’s display at centre-back, Arteta added: ‘From day one I spoke with him and obviously his mind was a little bit blurry from a lot of things that happened in his life and with his family.

‘I tried to convince him that this was the right place for him to stay and I wanted to give him the opportunity to enjoy playing football again.

‘Everything I ask him to do every training session, he’s willing to do it and today I knew the moment I put him there… I didn’t know how good he’d do but I knew he would put everything there.

‘He was great.’

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