LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud are both expected to start for Arsenal for Monday night’s Barclays Premier League clash at Aston Villa.
Striker Giroud is set to make his return after returning to full training from an ankle problem and illness, Arsenal said, while the fitness of Ozil has been assessed and he too is in line to feature.
“They had a good training session… and today they had no problem. They could be back,” manager Arsene Wenger said on the Gunners’ official website at www.arsenal.com.
Winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also fit again after recovering from a knee injury and he could start on the bench, while Wenger said Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and defender Kieran Gibbs (calf) are both close to returning.
“It is unbelievable because he played the first game of the season, against Aston Villa, and now he is back and available and it is against Aston Villa again,” Wenger said.
“That makes it five months where he has been completely out, so that means he is fresh and that should give us a boost.”
Aston Villa will check on defenders Ron Vlaar and Nathan Baker before the game after they missed the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United with respective calf and hamstring problems.
Aston Villa (from): Guzan, Steer, Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Luna, Donacien, Lowton, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Westwood, Delph, Sylla, Gardner, Tonev, Helenius, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Bowery.
Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky, Ozil, Giroud, Fabianski, Podolski, Jenkinson, Cazorla, Vermaelen, Gnarby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Park.