Giroud to return a month early for Arsenal but mixed news for United

Ross McLean
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Giroud was not expected back until early next year
ARSENAL have received a timely boost for their crunch clash against old foes Manchester United tomorrow after France striker Olivier Giroud was declared fit – a month ahead of schedule.

The 28-year-old broke his leg in August and was initially ruled out until the new year but is available for the sixth-placed Gunners along with skipper Mikel Arteta, who has had a hamstring strain.

“Giroud and Arteta are both available,” said Wenger. “It is just a question of how ready they are, but they are available.”

Defenders Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy are still recovering form injury, while Germany World Cup winner Mesut Ozil is not expected back before January.

United are without utility man Daley Blind – though not for six months, as they hastily announced and then retracted yesterday – while full-back Luke Shaw is a doubt and forward Falcao will be missing for at least two more weeks after a setback.

But Angel di Maria, David de Gea and Michael Carrick are all set to be available for a United side that currently sits just one place and a solitary point behind Arsenal in the Premier League table.