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Wenger’s team news update: key man to return but attacker not ready
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has offered a team news update ahead of our trip to Watford on Saturday and given the latest on the fitness of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.
Both players were named on the bench for last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Leicester City as they were deemed not fit to start following their late arrival for pre-season training having participated in the latter stages of Euro 2016.
Ozil played in the semi-finals in France while Giroud featured in the final and they, along with Koscielny, were given an extended break and didn’t return to training until the 8th August.
Koscielny had to be rushed back in to action due to our injury crisis in defence but Ozil and Giroud were held back and only made second half substitute appearances at the King Power last weekend.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning, Wenger has suggested that Ozil is now getting closer to full fitness and could return to the starting eleven at Watford, although he’ll make a final decision on the German over the next 24 hours.
However, it looks like Giroud is set to start from the bench again at Vicarage Road as Arsene says the French striker is still ‘behind physically’.
The boss is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard:
“He’s [Ozil] not far now. That’s a decision I have to make in the next 24 hours.
“It will be a similar squad. Not everybody is up to speed completely.
“We still have some players who are a little bit behind,”
“Giroud is still a little bit fractional behind physically,”
I think Ozil will start as we all saw last week at Leicester how much we miss his creativity and we simply have to pick up all three points tomorrow after only collecting one point from our opening two games.
Giroud is always a player who takes his time getting back to full fitness so it’s no surprise that he’s not ready to start just yet. Therefore, Alexis Sanchez looks set to start up front at Watford.