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Content Wenger places faith in Arsenal’s returning stars

| 02.02.2016

Arsene Wenger dropped a few hints over the Christmas period to suggest that January could be a busy one for Arsenal in the transfer market. It proved not to be the case.

The Gunners signed only Mohamed Elneny from Basel, while Mathieu Debuchy went out on loan to Bordeaux.

Much was made of Arsenal’s injury crisis during the first half of the campaign, and whether Wenger would buy in order to find reinforcements, or hang on and wait for his crocked stars to return.

With the dust now settled on the transfer window, it’s clear Wenger has chosen the latter.

Alexis Sanchez made a welcome return to the Arsenal fold in the weekend’s 2-1 win over Burnley – coming off the bench to score the winner.

The Chilean has missed the last two months, and if Arsenal are to achieve anything this season, Sanchez is a priceless asset.

Arsenal host Southampton in the Premier League tonight and the striker is in the hunt for his first start since November.

Another welcome returnee was Francis Coquelin, who started on Saturday and played 70 minutes before being replaced by Mikel Arteta – making his fourth appearance since missing all of December.

The Gunners are still without Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Santi Cazorla, while Tomas Rosicky is set to miss another month, but things are looking a lot more promising around the Emirates.

New boy Elneny also now has a full 90 minutes to his name, and Arsenal look well prepared to avenge the surprise 4-0 hammering at St Mary’s Stadium at the tail end of 2015 despite recent woes.

Arsenal have picked up just two points from their last three games in the league, while Southampton have won three in a row without conceding.

Nevertheless, the Gunners will be massively boosted by some of their returning stars, and they could be attracting a lot of attention tonight as the 8/11 favourites.

Back with a bang on Saturday, Sanchez is 11/2 to score the opening goal tonight, and 15/8 to net anytime.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.