Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has given the strongest indication yet that Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song will be fit in time to face Barcelona on Tuesday next week.
Both players played in the first leg 2-1 win in their Champions League last 16 encounter against Barcelona two weeks ago, but have since been injured.
Both will sit out of Arsenals home match against Sunderland today, but should be fit for the game in the week.
Fabregas and Song offer creativity and steel in an Arsenal team that has been hit by the injuries to Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott, and bos Wenger hopes the return of the pair will give Arsenal the experience they need to win the tie.
“They are still improving for the Barcelona game. They have a chance,” he said.
“Fabregas at the moment has a stronger chance than Song, but they have a chance.”
Wenger was also positive about the return to action of Welsh midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, who has fought his way back to fitness after spells at Forest and Cardiff.
Wenger added, “Aaron has had to be very patient and he must feel very good to be back.
“When you have a big injury before the age of 20 normally you come back and you develop normally.
“That is why the big question mark about him was whether he would be back fully fit physically.
“That is now sorted out in a positive way, the rest is just a question of playing games. He has dealt with the injury very well.
“Certainly he has been very down for a long period, but on the outside signs he has shown he is always highly motivated and determined to work hard.