Football

Arsenal receive massive double injury boost

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that club captain Thomas Vermaelen and club-record signing Mesut Ozil are both fit and in contention to return against Stoke City this weekend.

Ozil was left out of last weekend's 4-1 win over Sunderland with a bruised thigh, while Vermaelen has been missing since limping out of an FA Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur on January 4th with knee problems.

Wenger gave his pre-match press conference for Saturday's trip to the Britannia Stadium this morning, revealing that he has both players back but must wait and see if Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal recover from injury problems to face Stoke.

The Gunners boss stated: "Vermaelen and Ozil are back in the squad, but we have doubts over Monreal and Gibbs."

Vermaelen could be forced straight back into action at left-back if both Gibbs and Monreal fail fitness tests, while Mathieu Flamini and Bacary Sagna are also capable of deputising in case of emergency.

Ozil meanwhile faces a fight to be considered worthy of an instant recall, with Tomas Rosicky deputising in a stunning display against Sunderland, a performance capped by a superb goal following link-up play with Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere.

Wenger's men have no room for error against Stoke, a team which have caused them considerable problems in the past, as Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool wait to pounce on any dropped points in a four-way fight for the title.

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Thomas Vermaelen
Arsenal
Football

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