Arsenal are expected to make a number of changes for the game against Preston at the weekend with Laurent Koscielny and Alexis being rested.

Mesut Ozil will not be rushed back from his illness while Francis Coquelin will miss out with a hamstring injury.

Per Mertesacker, Chuba Akpom and Danny Welbeck are all back in training however the first two are unlikely to be involved. Welbz could be in with a shout, but it’s not clear if Arsene Wenger will risk him. It is a good chance for him to get some game time – if he’s ready, of course.

Arsenal will also be without Santi Cazorla (Achilles), Mathieu Debuchy (Debuchy) while there are still doubts over Theo Walcott (calf) and Kieran Gibbs (knee).

Preston North End should welcome Arsenal to Deepdale on Saturday with no injured players in their squad.

Unless something happens in training between now and the weekend, they will go in to the game with only one player missing – Jermaine Beckford – who will serve the final game of a three-match suspension for the red card he picked up against Leeds on Boxing Day when he clashed with former Arsenal youth player, Kyle Bartley.

Beckford had only just returned from suspension when he picked up his red card.

Arsenal have played Preston NE 79 times, winning 34, drawing 19 and losing 26. They first played each in 1901 when Preston won at home, 2-0. The last time the sides met was 12 October 1999 when Arsenal were narrow 2-1 winners in a league cup match.