Wenger: Key duo unlikely to return before January

Arsene Wenger In Emirates Press Conference 2

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger gave updates on player fitness ahead of the game against Queens Park Rangers.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that a trio of key players are all available for the side ahead of Boxing Day, with two more tipped to return this weekend.

"Rosicky, Ospina and Sanogo are available. Koscielny and Bellerin are close for Sunday," said the boss.

It wasn't all good news from Wenger, with the boss confirming that Mikel Arteta will not play before the start of January, while he also hinted that Aaron Ramsey could feature against Southampton while Mesut Ozil is working hard with his recovery.

"He's (Arteta) progressing well. He had a little set back and will not play before January."

"He (Ramsey) could be back for Southampton."

"He'll (Ozil) be back at the beginning of January. He works very hard and is very focused."

There has also been some speculation over the state of Theo Walcott's fitness, but Wenger revealed he thinks the winger is as quick as he was before his injury last season.

"He has been missed because he's a top-quality team player. He's as quick as he was."

Wenger appeared unconcerned by the fixture congestion ahead of the QPR game, suggesting it's a chance for his side to accumulate points and climb the table.

"We have three games in a very short period of time. It's a tough schedule but an opportunity to take points."

Wenger has played down the favourites tag for his team ahead of the game against QPR, suggesting he thinks Harry Redknapp will encourage his team to attack.

"It's a London derby and we expect QPR to come and have a go at us. We have to take advantage of our Christmas schedule."

"It's good to see an English striker (Charlie Austin) who has managed to come up through the divisions. That shows mental strength."

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