Szczesny set for derby start as Gibbs & Rosicky near Arsenal returns

The Gunners' No. 1 is in line to feature in Saturday's clash against Tottenham after two months out, while Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should also appear
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Wojciech Szczesny is set to be restored to the Arsenal starting line-up for the north London derby on Saturday.

The Polish goalkeeper is fully fit again after two months on the sidelines and is earmarked to take over in goal from Vito Mannone. understands that Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who were both unavailable for the England team that lost 4-2 in Sweden on Wednesday night, are also training fully and should be in the squad for the crunch match at Emirates Stadium.

Moreover, there is a possibility that Kieran Gibbs and Tomas Rosicky could be involved on Saturday as they step up their recoveries from injury.

The return of Szczesny is a boost for Arsene Wenger, who has taken a cautious approach to the keeper's comeback. The Pole has played only two matches for Arsenal this season due to rib and ankle injuries, and has not featured since the 6-1 victory over Southampton on 15 September.

As revealed by, the Arsenal No.1 returned to full training at the end of October but, up to now, he has played just 90 minutes for the Under-21s and was an unused substitute in the 3-3 draw with Fulham.

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However, Wenger made it clear last week that Szczesny remains his first-choice keeper and sources have said that Mannone is certain to step down following a mixed spell between the sticks. The Italian has played in 13 of Arsenal’s 17 matches this season, but he has been guilty of a number of errors in recent weeks.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has played only 14 minutes in the last month due to hip and groin injuries but is fully fit again and is expected to feature against Tottenham, as is Walcott, who has recovered from the glute injury that led to his withdrawal from the England squad.

Gibbs has been in light training for some time but Arsenal are wary of rushing back the injury-prone left-back and he is regarded as an outside possibility for a return in Saturday’s lunch-time kick-off.

Long-term absentee Rosicky, who has not played since the final game of last season against West Brom, has also returned to training.

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