Arsenal will leave a decision on the fitness of captain Cesc Fabregas until the last possible moment as Arsene Wenger aims to keep his team top of the Barclays Premier League table after their match at title rivals Manchester United on Monday.
The Spain midfielder limped off during the 2-0 Champions League defeat in Braga last month after suffering a fresh hamstring problem in what has been an injury-plagued campaign for the World Cup winner.
Arsenal head to the north-west having leapfrogged United, whose match against Blackpool was postponed.
Fabregas has offered no guarantees he will be ready to lead the side out at Old Trafford and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is not ready to take any risks.
"We could have Cesc Fabregas [back], but there is a big uncertainty if he can be in the squad or not. That will be decided very late," Wenger said.
Arsenal are definitely without defender Kieran Gibbs, as the England full-back is set for three weeks on the sidelines with an ankle problem suffered in the 3-1 Champions League win over Partizan Belgrade on Wednesday night.