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Arsene Wenger is backing Olivier Giroud to make an immediate impact when he returns to the Arsenal side that takes on Aston Villa this evening.
The Frenchman has been forced to miss the last two games through injury and illness but Wenger says it is not all bad news as the rest will have done him good.
Giroud has been a revelation in the first half of the season when firing home eleven goals and Wenger is expecting a similar return in the second half as the Gunners push for the title now he is back fit and fully rested.
Much has been made of Arsenal’s need for a new striker following the season-ending injury to Theo Walcott but Wenger believes Giroud is capable of getting the goals needed.
“People want always new names, but what is important for us is that Giroud is back,” said Wenger.
“He was a bit tired recently, but now he is refreshed and I am sure he will have a major impact on the second part of the season.”
Even so Wenger knows it would be foolish not to bring in another striker during the January transfer window as Nicklas Bendtner also struggles through injury.
When asked if it would be a gamble not to sign someone, he responded: “Yes, it is, that is why we are out there.”
Arsenal slipped to third in the table over the weekend as both Chelsea and Manchester City picked up wins, but three points at Villa Park would take them back top.