Arsene Wenger says Aaron Ramsey has a “good opportunity” to establish himself in the centre of midfield over the coming months.
With Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla both sidelined through injury, the Wales international is expected to return to his favoured position against Sunderland.
Wenger says he has not finalised his plans for Saturday’s game, but says Ramsey and Calum Chambers are both in contention after the latter completed 90 minutes for the under-21s on Monday.
“It is a possibility [for Ramsey], yes,” the manager said. “For him it is a good opportunity if he plays there, that is where he prefers to play. I can use [Chambers there too] if needed, he can play there.”
After a disappointing run of results in November, Wenger hopes to see his side return to form against Sunderland - although he expects a tough game.
“It is very difficult [against these teams] and we have just seen that at Norwich and West Brom, where we had about 70 per cent possession in the two games,” he said. “In the two games together we had four shots against us and conceded three goals, so that shows it is difficult.
“We face a team on Saturday that has recently taken points, is well organised and has gone to a very strong defensive system under Sam Allardyce. They have gained some confidence in their system so we expect a tough game.
“It is important [to be back at the Emirates] because we feel strong at home and we have the support of our fans. We have had two very physical, very difficult away games and we were a bit unlucky. The comfort to play at home is important.”
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