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Victor Wanyama could return from a seven-week injury lay-off in Southampton’s clash with Arsenal, although Rickie Lambert is a doubt.

Kenyan midfielder Wanyama suffered a hairline fracture to his leg in defeat to Aston Villa on December 4, but is line for a return against the Gunners.

Artur Boruc (hand) should also be back after missing the 2-0 FA Cup defeat of Yeovil, although Lambert (hamstring) will need to be assessed. Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez (both ankle) are definitely absent, as is Dani Osvaldo (club suspension).

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger is able to welcome three players back into his squad, but may rest Jack Wilshere due to an ankle problem.

Midfielders Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and Mikel Arteta (calf) and defender Thomas Vermaelen (knee) are all back training, although Wenger is not planning on using any of them from the start.

Wojciech Szczesny should return in goal after being rested for the FA Cup win against Coventry, while the same should go for Olivier Giroud who was a substitute in that game.

Arsenal know they have to win every Premier League game to maintain their slim advantage at the top, and with Manchester City adn Chelsea not playing until Wednesday, they can open up a little gap.

News that Arsène Wenger is set to commit himself to a longer spell at the Emirates will be a welcome boost, as could the return of the likes of Ramsey and Arteta, probably on the bench.

The Gunners have won their last seven games in all competitions, and will hope to take advantage of a Southampton side that is not as threatening as they were when they came to the Emirates in November.

Stat of the game: Arsenal have won five and drawn three of their last eight Premier League games against Southampton, but have won just one of the last four trips to St Mary’s.

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