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Triple injury boost for Arsenal ahead of Southampton clash

Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Thomas Vermaelen all returned to first-team training to give Arsene Wenger a welcome selection headache.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been handed a boost for the Gunners' trip to Southampton tomorrow night after three first-teamers returned to training.

Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Thomas Vermaelen are all in contention to be involved against the Saints after adequately proving their fitness and it now offers Wenger a surfeit of options in defence and midfield.

The injury crisis has eased somewhat in recent weeks despite Theo Walcott's season-ending injury, with Yaya Sanogo also making a comeback to training this week, even if the Frenchman is largely on the fringes of the Gunners' first team.

Wenger is expected to make changes for Tuesday night's game with three matches in a week and may be tempted to recall Ramsey in particular, given Jack Wilshere's anticipated absence owing to a knock to his troublesome right ankle.

Vermaelen is unlikely to be restored to the starting line-up due to the form of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny but the Gunners now possess another orthodox central defender to call on in the event of injury to either of the club's standout defensive duo this season.

Arteta may also command a recall after his calf injury but the form of Mathieu Flamini could keep him on the sidelines for a little while longer, however, it is Ramsey's return which is particularly encouraging given his early season goalscoring form and it remains to be seen whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's recent performances from a central position will see him keep his place or not.

Should Arsenal recall their three returnees for the trip to Southampton?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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