Lukas Podolski ready to make Arsenal return against Chelsea

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Lukas Podolski has told Arsenal staff that he is fit to play against Chelsea on Monday, boosting the team following the suspension of Jack Wilshere, reports The Times.

The German international has not played for the Gunners in almost four months after injuring his hamstring against Fenerbahce in late August.

The grade three tear was so bad that one of Arsenal's chief examiners reportedly described it as "the worst hamstring strain" he had ever seen.

But following a long rehabilitation process, Podolski has told Arsene Wenger that he is ready to play and can fill in on the left-wing, vacated by Jack Wilshere following his two-game suspension, or up front to support a growingly tired Oliver Giroud.

Podolski's return to the Arsenal squad comes as a timely boost for Wenger, who is struggling to keep Giroud playing his best football up front.

The French striker started the season off excellently but has failed to score in each of his last five games - possibly feeling the effects of starting 23 of Arsenal's 26 games so far this term.

But Podolski can now provide cover for Giroud having showed his potential to play up front against Fulham earlier this season, scoring twice at Craven Cottage in a 3-1 win.

His return comes at a crucial time in Arsenal's Premier League campaign, facing the potential of being knocked off top spot when Jose Mourinho's Chelsea visits the Emirates stadium on Monday night.

Wenger is yet to beat Mourinho in nine meetings between the pair, but must win to guarantee being top of the table on Christmas day. 

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Lukas Podolski
Premier League

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