READING (Sporting Alert) — Arsenal FC will welcome back striker Olivier Giroud for today’s Barclays Premier League clash against Reading at The Madejski Stadium.
The French striker returns to the squad after being forced to sit on the side with a back problem.
Winger Theo Walcott is still uncertain despite passing a fitness test after missing the Gunners’ last three games due to a calf injury.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is yet to decide on who will feature for his side as he continues to battle with injury problems.
“It’s difficult because some players are still not practising so I can still not tell you exactly who will be available on Monday,” Wenger said on the Arsenal official website at www.arsenal.com.
He added: “Laurent Koscielny should come into the training group today, with Walcott we don’t know, but Olivier Giroud is back.”
Reading meanwhile, could have strikers Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak back to face Arsenal, although they could come off the bench.
Reading confirmed that both players will have late fitness test.
The last time these two sides met it ended in an entertaining 12 goal overtime thriller in the Capital One Cup.
The Gunners won the game 7-5.
Walcott and Giroud were impressive in the contest and the latter is looking forward to keeping his good form alive.
“It has been an interesting few months, but now I want to do more – I am an Arsenal player and rightly expectations are high,” Giroud said in an interview on the Arsenal.com Matchday program.
“I am trying to do what the boss asks of me, to put pressure on defenders and to improve on protecting and holding the ball.”
He added: “I am feeling better and better in this team all the time – I know my team-mates now and things are more automated on the pitch, which makes things easier for me.”
Reading vs Arsenal FC Teams:
Reading: Federici, Taylor, Cummings, Gorkss, Pearce, Morrison, Mariappa, Shorey, Harte, McAnuff, Guthrie, Leigertwood, Tabb, McCleary, Le Fondre, Hunt, Robson-Kanu, Roberts, Pogrebnyak.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Gibbs, Cazorla, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Gervinho, Giroud, Martinez, Squillaci, Jenkinson, Ramsey, Podolski, Rosicky, Coquelin, Walcott, Koscielny.