Article

Wembley hero Ramsey winning race to face Manchester City

23 February 2018 10:53

Aaron Ramsey is set to hand Arsenal a fitness boost for Sunday's EFL Cup final against Manchester City.

Ramsey missed the north London derby defeat to Tottenham with a groin problem earlier this month and also sat out Thursday's Europa League match against Ostersunds.

But the Wales international midfielder, who scored the winning goal in the 2014 and 2017 FA Cup finals is on course to feature in another Wembley showpiece against Premier League leaders City

"I have until Saturday to make a decision on Aaron Ramsey," manager Arsene Wenger told a pre-match news conference.

"He looks to be available but he has another test today."

In further good news for Wenger, playmaker Mesut Ozil's recovery from a bout of illness has remained on track.

"I saw him this morning, he had a good session yesterday," Wenger said of the Germany international. "We have to see how he responds but I think he will be alright."

Fellow midfielder Alex Iwobi limped off against Ostersunds and must be assessed, while his team-mates are nursing a case of bruised pride after losing 2-1 to the Swedish minnows on the night – a comprehensive 3-0 first-leg win serving to spare the Gunners from any greater embarrassment.

Wenger conceded that comfortable advantage and a looming Wembley engagement played an understandable part in his much-changed side failing to perform and expects far higher standards at the weekend.

"I don't have any speculation on any weakness of Manchester City," he said, despite Pep Guardiola's men coming into the game on the back of an FA Cup humbling at League One Wigan Athletic.

"We know to beat them we have to be at a different level, different focus and different quality of performance.

"Yes, certainly [Arsenal are the underdogs] but, overall, we know that despite that it's absolutely vital that we perform at our best."

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