TEAM NEWS: Koscielny fit to start for Arsenal against Sunderland

The French defender faced a late fitness test, but has passed it for the Gunners, while Lee Cattermole returns from injury for the hosts as they look for a vital three points

Arsenal have been boosted by the return of Laurent Koscielny in their game away to Sunderland, who themselves have good news with Lee Cattermole restored to the starting line-up.

The hosts start with Craig Gardner at right-back and on-loan Tottenham left-back Danny Rose, with a central pairing of Titus Bramble and John O’Shea.

Cattermole makes his return from injury alongside new signing Alfred N’Diaye and Jack Colback in midfield, while Danny Graham has to settle for a place on the bench as top scorer Steven Fletcher is the lone frontman with support from Adam Johnson and Stephane Sessegnon.

Koscielny comes into a defence alongside Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker and January signing Nacho Monreal.

Olivier Giroud continues up front on his own, with a central midfield of Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, fresh from his England heroics against Brazil; Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey offer support out wide.

Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, Bramble, O’Shea, Rose; Cattermole, N’Diaye, Colback; Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher.

Subs: Bardsley, Larsson, Graham, Vaughan, Mangane, Cuellar, Westwood.

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Wilshere; Walcott, Cazorla, Ramsey; Giroud.

Subs: Diaby, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Miquel, Mannone.

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