Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Declared Fit for Arsenal at Aston Villa

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2014

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on December 29, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

As part of a much-needed return to arms, Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will step back into the Arsenal lineup for the trip to Aston Villa this weekend.

Speaking in a pre-match press conference on Friday, via the Gunners' official Twitter account, Arsene Wenger commented on the current health of his two stars:

James Olley of the London Evening Standard added that the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Nicklas Bendtner, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs are more questionable in terms of their recoveries:

The return of Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain is terrific news for an Arsenal side that only recently found out Theo Walcott would be absent for the remainder of the season after picking up a serious knee injury, per BBC Newsround.

Giroud has missed his side's last two matches, having shouldered a great deal of Arsenal's attacking burden during the first half of the 2013-14 season.

In that time, the Frenchman scored eight goals and made five assists in the league, per Transfermarkt, but there was constant concern that the workload would prove too much.

In late November, Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke reported Jack Wilshere saying Giroud was the club's "key player":

Oxlade-Chamberlain, on the other hand, hasn't played since the opening day of the season—in a 3-1 loss to Paul Lambert's men.

This time, the England international will be hoping to have a far more positive impact on matters, with his side currently top of the English top flight. They hold just a single-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City.

The North London club have won their last three league games in a row, but must now remain consistent if their title dreams are to stay alive, with Manuel Pellegrini's Citizens coming upon a patch of indomitable form.

The Chilean has just been named December's Premier League Manager of the Month, per the Mail Online. It goes to show how impressive City's rise has been in recent weeks, winning eight of their last nine fixtures.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Albert Riera of Galatasaray battles with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain of Arsenal during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Galatasaray at the Emirates Stadium on August 4, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Wenger must hope for a change of fortune against the Villans this time around, after his side were booed off the pitch on the opening day.

The comebacks of both Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain will be of great help, allowing Wenger more options to alter his tactics during the game if necessary.