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TEAM NEWS: Wenger On Giroud, Ozil, Arteta, Koscielny + Debuchy
Arsenal get back to Premier League action this weekend when Manchester United come to town on Saturday night.
Arsene Wenger is due to hold his press conference on Friday morning but he’s given Arsenal.com a team news and injury update this afternoon and on the whole is all positive.
The boss has confirmed that Olivier Giroud is fit and available for the game after making a speedy recovery from his ankle injury. It’s still not been decided whether he’ll start but after over three months out, I’d expect the Frenchman to be among the subs.
Mikel Arteta is also back in contention after a calf problem so he should come back in for Mathieu Falmini in midfield.
Arsene has revealed that Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy are now back on the training pitch but are still three weeks away from returning to full training with the rest of the squad.
Debuchy is on-course to play again at some point in December but we’ll have to wait and see how Koscielny responds once he’s back in training before any comeback date is set. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later as he’s been badly missed in recent weeks.
The final update from the boss was on Mesut Ozil and he reiterated that the German won’t be seen again before the start of 2015 as he continued to recover from a knee injury.
Here’s the latest update from Wenger:
on Giroud and Arteta…
Giroud and Arteta are both available. It’s just a question of how ready they are. But they are available.
He is three or four weeks ahead of schedule. Originally we planned to have him back for competition at the beginning of next year. So he’s one month ahead.
on relying on Welbeck while Giroud was out…
Yes, and on Sanchez as well. But we have Giroud back, we have Walcott back. Slowly they will integrate into the team again and give us different options.
on Koscielny and Debuchy…
Koscielny and Debuchy are doing well, they are out on the field [working] again. We have to see now. Usually field work is three weeks away from full group training. Then there is fitness. It looks straightforward for Debuchy. It’s not inflammation, it’s just repairing surgery. For Koscielny, it depends how well he responds to training. At the moment he looks good.
Ozil is doing well but he will not be ready before the start of 2015.
So we’re gradually getting our players fit again and the return of Giroud certainly gives us more options in attack. It’s going to be interesting to see who Arsene sees as his first choice striker once the Frenchman is fully fit.