Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Boost for Arsenal as key quartet returns to training

SoccerNews in English Premier League 19 Jan 2017

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Arsenal are set to welcome back four players from injury for Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Burnley at Emirates Stadium.

Manager Arsene Wenger confirmed on Thursday that Olivier Giroud, who has scored five goals in his last five appearances, has resumed training following an ankle injury picked up in last week’s 4-0 win over Swansea City.

Full-backs Hector Bellerin and Kieran Gibbs are also available for selection, as is midfielder Francis Coquelin, although Theo Walcott remains sidelined with a calf problem.

“Bellerin, Coquelin and Gibbs are back in the group,” Wenger said. “Not Walcott. Those three should be available to be selected.

“Olivier Giroud is back in training.”

The Gunners will be seeking to keep up the pressure on the rest of the top-four challengers, especially with second-placed Tottenham travelling to face Manchester City on Saturday.

Sean Dyche’s side have lost all but one of their away league matches this season – they managed a 0-0 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in October – but Wenger is wary of underestimating a team who have won eight of their 12 home games.

“There’s a special atmosphere there, they have confidence and are very efficient at home. They defend well, they do not concede goals,” he said.

“They are a top-10 team in the first part of the league. What they’ve done is absolutely unbelievable. We have to make sure they do not find the solution away from home because it’s a big game for us.

“Everyone questions that and then they play at home and beat everybody. You think they play a top team and they might not do it this time, but they do it every time.

“That is just down to quality.

“Every game is important and we can only focus on the next one. The big games are only important if you do well in the games with a so-called less big interest.”

Arsenal triumphed 1-0 at Turf Moor in October, when Laurent Koscielny scored a controversial late winner.

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