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Podolski has 'very good chance' of starting for Arsenal against Sunderland, Wenger reveals

The summer signing from Koln impressed in a friendly against his former side and looks set to kick-off the new season in the starting lineup despite not yet being fully fit

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that forward Lukas Podolski has a "very good chance" of starting the Gunners' Premier League opener against Sunderland,

The Germany international scored two goals against Koln, the side whom he left to move to England this summer, on Sunday and his new boss has been impressed with the forward's preseason form.

Wenger did admit that Podolski had not reached full fitness after an extended break following Euro 2012 but nevertheless backed the 27-year-old to make an instant impact.

"We are very pleased with him," Wenger told reporters in Germany after the match. "He will make the squad [against Sunderland] in any case and he has a very good chance of starting the match.

"He's not at 100 percent physically. The running is still missing a little bit but we will sort that out. We know that he can score goals."

Captain Robin van Persie's status for the game remains in doubt following the continued speculation over his future at the club.

That could mean a central striking role for Podolski, but the former Bayern Munich star featured to the left of fellow new arrival Olivier Giroud at the RheinEnergie Stadion.

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