Arsene Wenger has received a timely injury boost with the return of defensive duo Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou for the weekend visit of Sunderland.

The Gunners have endured somewhat of a crisis at the back, having been forced to deploy central midfielder Alex Song at the heart of defence in recent weeks.

Koscielny had been sidelined with an ankle problem, while Djourou suffered from a muscular strain, meaning both players missed the UEFA Champions League win against Olympiacos, and the north London derby defeat to Tottenham.


 

Both players have now completed their rehabilitation, and are away on international duty with France and Switzerland respectively - but neither were risked in Friday's Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Djourou was suspended for Switzerland's 2-0 defeat against Wales, while Koscielny was an unused substitute for Les Bleus, but both are available for selection in tonight's final round of qualification fixtures.

The return to fitness of Djourou and Koscielny, along with Sebastien Squillaci, will add much needed strength and depth to the Arsenal squad, as they look to kick-start their season when they resume their Barclays Premier League campaign against the Black Cats at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

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