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Returning Giroud wants to play beside rival Danny

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is confident he will return stronger from his three-month injury lay-off and can forge a dynamic strike partnership with England forward Danny Welbeck.

Giroud (28) has recovered more quickly than expected since suffering a freak broken leg when challenging for the ball in the closing stages of the 2-2 draw against Everton on August 23.

Manager Arsene Wenger revealed the France international could even be in contention for today's showdown against Manchester United, although next weekend's trip to West Brom is perhaps a more realistic target given the player's lengthy absence.

The recruitment of Welbeck from United on transfer deadline day has looked a sound investment, with the 23-year-old having scored five goals in 12 appearances while Giroud continued his recovery.

Giroud, though, believes rather than be in direct competition, the pair have the technical ability to develop a clinical partnership.

"After an injury of three months, you need to have a good rhythm back - you think you are fit, but the competition is everything. I will need a couple of games to be 100 per cent, but mentally and physically I am close," Giroud said.

"It was the first time for me I have been out for three months, but it was good for my mentality, because I feel I will be back stronger, with more determination - and the doctor told me even my bone will be stronger."

Giroud, who plundered 22 goals last season, added: "I think we needed (to buy) another striker, especially when my injury came.

"Danny has done really well up to now, but I am not worried that we have bought Danny.

"I think we will have a good understanding on the pitch and can play together, that is the main thing, we are quite complementary."

Giroud has not given up yet on mounting a title challenge through 2015.

"It is only November, there are still a lot of games left to play, the main thing is to take maximum points against the big teams," he said.


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