Arsenal boosted by return of Theo Walcott ahead of trip to St Mary's

[PHOTO: COURTESY]

Arsenal welcome Theo Walcott back into their squad for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie against his former club Southampton.

The England international has been struggling with a calf problem but is now fit to be in contention, while Per Mertesacker (knee) and Mathieu Debuchy (hamstring) have also returned to full training.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is likely to rest two or three key players but is without Granit Xhaka, who starts a four-game ban following his red card against Burnley, as well as Mohamed Elneny (international duty) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles).

Despite the possible first-team returns, Wenger remained tight-lipped on who would feature in his Arsenal side for the tie at St Mary's.

"We'll put a team with first team experience in there," said the Frenchman. "Maybe one or two younger players in there."

Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Martinez, Bellerin, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Gibbs, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Sanchez, Akpom, Perez, Giroud.

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