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Arsenal will be without defender Kieran Gibbs for Saturday’s Premier League game against Sunderland.

Midfielder Mikel Arteta is available after serving a European suspension for the midweek Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, while striker Olivier Giroud is expected to be recalled.

Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and deadline-day loan signing Kim Kallstrom (back) are also absent.

Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott are long-term absentees with their respective knee injuries.

Meanwhile, Steven Fletcher could have a chance to play his way into Sunderland’s Capital One Cup final team when he returns from injury at Arsenal.

The Scotland international has missed the last three games after being advised to rest an Achilles problem, but manager Gus Poyet is expecting him to be available for Saturday’s Premier League trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Defender Carlos Cuéllar is also in contention for the first time since November after recovering from a hip problem, while central defender Wes Brown completes his two-match ban and goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) remains on the sidelines.

Arsène Wenger’s side quickly steadied themselves following the recent 5-1 humiliation at Liverpool and the manager will expect a similar reaction to the painful Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich.

Sunderland’s prospects have improved after a run that has brought three victories in the last five league games, but Gus Poyet’s side remain in the bottom three and cannot allow themselves to be distracted by next Sunday’s Capital One cup final.

Stat of the game: Sunderland are unbeaten in their last six away games in the Premier League.

Arsenal (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Arteta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Cazorla; Giroud.
Out: Diaby, Walcott (both knee), Gibbs (hamstring), Kallstrom (back), Ramsey (thigh), Vermaelen (calf).

Sunderland (Possible, 4-1-4-1): Mannone; Bardsley, Vergini, O’Shea, Alonso; Bridcutt; Johnson, Ki, Colback, Borini; Altidore.
Out: Brown (suspended), Westwood (shoulder).
Tests: Fletcher (Achilles), Cuéllar (hip).

Referee: Andre Marriner. Matches: 19, R5 Y61.

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