Belfast Telegraph

Theo Walcott boost for Arsenal's trip to Anfield

By Jim van Wijk

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott could make a long-awaited return to action at Liverpool on Sunday.

Manager Arsene Wenger revealed the 25-year-old, who has made just two appearances this season following recovery from a long-term knee injury, is set to resume full training after a groin problem suffered while on international duty with England.

While Wenger will take no chances on Walcott's rehabilitation, the imminent availability of the jet-heeled forward will come as a welcome boost ahead of the hectic Christmas schedule, which could also see both defender Nacho Monreal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shake off their fitness problems.

"There is a slight chance of (Nacho) Monreal being available and a very slight chance for Walcott. We hope that Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit. We will see that on Saturday," Wenger told Arsenal Player.

"He (Walcott) is back in training today (Thursday), but only today. I might take him (to Liverpool), I don't know yet until he is back to full training. Let's see."

Oxlade-Chamberlain limped out of the closing stages of Arsenal's 4-1 Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle last weekend with a groin problem which the club hope will prove to be minor.

"That's what we'll see on Saturday after a test. He is not in training at the moment," Wenger said.

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is another who is stepping up his rehabilitation, having been out since the defeat at Chelsea on October 5 because of a knee problem.

Wenger confirmed both goalkeeper David Ospina and midfielder Tomas Rosicky are also close to being available again following their thigh problems.

However, captain Mikel Arteta (calf), midfielder Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and centre-back Laurent Koscielny (calf) are still out, but "progressing as planned", according to the Gunners boss.

Arsenal will be looking to remain within striking distance of the top four with a positive result at Anfield to continue their upturn in form, which has seen five wins from six across all competitions.

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