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England manager Gareth Southgate believes Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere should be fit in time to face Stoke City in Saturday’s Premier League clash, reports The S*n. The 26-year-old withdrew from the national team after picking up a knee injury but it wasn’t considered serious.

“I have no reason to believe that he won’t be back for their next game. It is an ongoing issue which he has to manage and he wasn’t going to be ready for tomorrow for us, but I’m pretty certain he will be back for Arsenal’s next game,” said Southgate.

Wilshere has made 31 appearances in all competition this season, having missed the first two months of the campaign as he was recovering from a leg fracture. The midfielder hasn’t featured too heavily in the Premier League in recent weeks, racking up just over 200 minutes from the last 540, and may only be fit enough for the bench.

Manager Arsene Wenger could opt for Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny as deep-lying midfielders against Stoke. The Gunners are big favourites to beat the struggling Potters who are 19th in the table and have the worst defensive record (58 goals conceded) in the division so they may get by without Wilshere.

The academy graduate could instead be given a few minutes off the bench against Stoke as Arsenal have a Europa League quarter-final clash with CSKA Moscow coming just days after their meeting with City. Wilshere would normally start in Europe but he’ll need to prove his fitness to be in contention of selection.

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