Arsenal FC will have their first choice centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny available again together, for Saturday’s clash with Stoke City.

Both, Mertersacker and Koscielny have already missed games for the Gunners. Mertesacker had missed the last two games with a viral infection while Koscielny missed the game against Liverpool with a back injury. The defender played in Francea s 1-0 win against Portugal on Friday, but did not play any part in Francea s friendly against Serbia on Monday night as a precaution.

However, both players are back in training and are expected to play on Saturday against Stoke.

Welbeck to return early; Wilshere to begin training next week

Roy Hodgson’s claims that he had heard Welbeck will be out for another six months following surgery to his left knee sent Arsenal FC fans in meltdown, following the failure to secure a new forward by the club.

However, the club say that he is well on course for a return by end of the year and is a realistic target.

What was initially thought to be a mere bruise, did not heal following a period of rest for Welbeck, who had to then undergo an operation on his articular cartilage. Arsenal had hoped that surgery would not be necessary. While there was some improvement since the initial injury in late April, after the treatment, he was unable to deal with more intense training.

Jack Wilshere should be able to resume training next week as he continues his rehabilitation from a hairline fracture to his left fibula.

Tomas Rosciky is still out after undergoing a knee operation, but is on course to return in the first week of October.

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