Alexandre Lacazette is set to give Arsenal a major boost by returning from a month out in the clash with Stoke.
Lacazette has not played since he suffered a knee injury in the club’s North London derby defeat to Tottenham in early February.
The problem needed a minor operation to resolve, and in the time he has been forced to sit out eight matches which have gone a long way to shaping Arsenal’s season.
He was absent as the side crashed out of the EFL Cup to Manchester City and also from the team who crashed to defeat at Brighton that left their hopes of finishing in the top four in tatters.
But he has returned to full training this week in time to face the Potters on Sunday.
And Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to give him a run-out against the relegation strugglers to help sharpen him up for the their huge Europa League match against CSKA Moscow next week.
With a top four finish now looking unlikely, the club’s hopes of making a return to the Champions League next season hinge on winning the Europa League.
They take on the Russian side in the first-leg of their quarter-final next Thursday – a game they are desperate to have Lacazette involved in.
The £52.7million summer signing has struggled to make a big impression during his first season in England since his move from Lyon.
But with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not allowed to play in Europe as he is cup-tied, Arsenal are short of other genuine quality options up front.