Arsenal expect Sokratis to be fit for Bournemouth clash with David Luiz suspension looming

GIUSEPPE MURO
Sokratis expected to come in for the suspended Luiz: Getty Images

Arsenal are confident Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be fit to play instead of the suspended David Luiz at Bournemouth on Monday.

Sokratis missed Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea because of illness but he is expected to recover for the FA Cup fourth-round tie.

Luiz is banned against Bournemouth following his red card at Stamford Bridge and midfielder Granit Xhaka had to play three-quarters of the game at centre-back.

Shkodran Mustafi is the only other centre-back option available to Mikel Arteta, so the return of Sokratis would be a major boost.

Arteta is expected to name a strong side against Bournemouth, with Gabriel Martinelli set to start following his ­brilliant solo goal against Chelsea.

Arsenal are targeting a move for Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa, who is valued at £4million.

Kurzawa is out of contract at the end of the season and PSG are willing to let him leave this month.

Bukayo Saka has impressed as an emergency left-back and Hector ­Bellerin made a goalscoring return against Chelsea but Arteta is keen to bolster his full-back options.