Giroud and the Ox fit for Villa clash

Arsenal go in to this evening’s match against Aston Villa looking for the three points that will see them return to the top of the Premier League.

With the six sides below them all securing victories over the weekend, the Gunners will be keen to not lose their advantage over the chasing pack.

Arsene Wenger could welcome Olivier Giroud back into the fold after the striker recovered from injury and illness, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in line for a first appearance since the 3-1 defeat against Villa on the opening day of the season.

Thomas Vermaelen is an injury doubt, though Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby, Yaya Sanogo, Nicklas Bendtner and Aaron Ramsey are all out.

Manchester City currently top the table after beating Newastle United 2-0 at St James’ Park yesterday afternoon while Chelsea have also overtaken Arsenal after winning by the same scoreline at Hull City on Saturday.

Liverpool moved to within three points of Arsenal after beating Stoke City 5-3 at the Britannia Stadium yesterday, while there were home wins for Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are considering a move for Nottingham Forest’s highly rated centre back Jamal Lascelles, according to the Mirror.

The 20 year old, who came through the ranks at Forest, has been capped by England at all youth levels and has been one of the Reds’ star performers this season as they look for a return to the English top flight after fifteen years.