Arca ready for Christmas

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Sunderland's Julio Arca is gearing up for the hectic Christmas period and insists he wants to play every game.

The Argentine made his comeback from a toe injury last weekend at Charlton, after missing over two months of the season.

Arca is happy that Sunderland have this weekend off due to Liverpool's World Club Championship commitments, as it allows him extra time to prepare for the next few weeks - which at one point will see his side play four times in eight days.

"The break this weekend has come at the right time for me," he said. "I played for 90 minutes against Charlton and was a bit sore afterwards, but I have time to recover before the Christmas games.

"We have a lot of games in a short space of time - maybe too many - but I'm hoping to play in them all. Only time will tell whether I can.

"I feel a lot better now and getting the game under my belt has done me the world of good."

The blank weekend has also given Alan Stubbs the chance to recover from a groin injury and he is hoping to return against Bolton next week.

"I started training on Monday, so I'm hoping I'll be fit for that match," he said.

"It feels much better and I just need to get the fitness and sharpness back."