Arsenal boosted by return of Ozil, Giroud for Villa clash

The attackers are primed to face the Villans, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should also feature, but Nicklas Bendtner is still three weeks away from full fitness.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil are set to return for Arsenal's trip to Aston Villa on Monday.

Goal UK reported Wednesday that Ozil was excused from first-team training following his substitute appearance against Tottenham to go on a midseason break to Morocco to recharge his batteries. And Giroud is also primed to face the Villans, having missed Arsenal's victories over Cardiff City and Tottenham with an ankle problem.

"[Giroud and Ozil] had a good training session yesterday and today they had no problem. They could be back," Wenger told the club's official website.

Wenger added that Kieran Gibbs and Aaron Ramsey are "very close" to first-team returns and there is a "small possibility" they will be fit to face Villa. The Gunners boss also revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is fit to feature again after a lengthy recovery from a knee injury that has sidelined him since the opening-day loss to Villa.

"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 added. "That makes it five months where has been completely out, so that means he is fresh and that should give us a boost."

But Wenger acknowledged that, as Goal reported last week, Nicklas Bendtner remains sidelined with an ankle problem, saying: "Bendtner, you count three weeks from now until he is back in training."