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Arsenal team news: Gunners ace in line for first start of season against Reading

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is reportedly set to make his first start of the season in his side’s EFL Cup clash with Reading on Tuesday night.

The French international initially returned late after featuring for Les Bleus at Euro 2016, with Didier Deschamps’ men reaching the final of the tournament this past summer.

In turn, Arsene Wenger afforded Giroud additional time off, only for the former Montpellier man to be sent off against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League before then suffering a toe injury which has kept him sidelined.

While he’s still likely to be short of match fitness, Wenger is now ready to bring him back into the equation, according to The Mirror, as he sees the clash against Reading as the perfect opportunity to allow him some playing time and get back to playing an instrumental role in Arsenal’s success.

Meanwhile, based on his comments below there is an indication that he could rotate his squad slightly after seeing signs of fatigue in the performance against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

“I don’t know. We’ll see. Physically he [Giroud] has no problem, he’s still not completely there but he’s better and might be in the squad on Tuesday.

“Yes, it’s difficult. I think overall our collective performance was less smooth, less fluent, the speed of our combinations was more: ‘I give you, you give me…’ That lacked a bit of pace.”

Giroud’s return will be a welcome boost for the Gunners for a number of reasons aside from the fact that it does indeed allow Wenger to rest Alexis Sanchez who has been deployed up front so far this season.

The French international offers a different option for Arsenal with his ability to hold up and link up play, while his aerial threat will also ask different questions of the opposition.

Arsenal have often been criticised for being too one-dimensional, but with the likes of Sanchez and Lucas Perez offering pace, movement and much more, Giroud can compliment them either alongside them on the pitch or in their place depending on the opposition and circumstances.

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