Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny
Arsenal defenders Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are set to return for the Gunners' clash against Stoke City on 12 September Getty

Arsenal have been handed a major boost ahead of their game against Stoke City on Saturday, 12 September, with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny ready to return to the starting lineup after being sidelined for the clash against Liverpool with illness and a back injury respectively. The Frenchman recovered enough to play against Newcastle United the following week, but suffered a recurrence while on international duty with France.

According to the Telegraph, both the central defenders, who are important in the context of Arsenal having a good 2015/16 campaign, are ready to return to the first-team fold. The German centre-back missed the last two games with illness, with Arsene Wenger admitting that the defender's unwillingness to take antibiotics could see him sidelined for longer than expected.

"On Wednesday he was not good, we had to send him home. He has a chest infection. The Germans are a bit sceptical of that (antibiotics). I hope that he comes in and says, 'I am perfectly all right,'" Wenger said, as quoted by the Mirror.

But, according to the Daily Mail, the former Germany international has returned to full training and should be restored to the first-team alongside his regular partner Koscielny, who despite fears of a back injury, has returned unscathed from international duty with Les Bleus. The Frenchman missed his country's first game due to a suspected back injury, the same one that kept him out of the game against Liverpool, but the defender has brushed it off as a minor problem and is set to return to action for the Gunners against the Potters at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Apart from the duo, Jack Wilshere, who is recovering from an ankle injury is progressing well with the manager revealing that he could return to training one week after the international break. Danny Welbeck, on the other hand, is expected to be out until Christmas after undergoing knee surgery, despite England boss Roy Hodgson suggesting that he will be out for six months.