WTTGT Writer: Vivek Arulnathan (Site Editor)
There is every possibility that Arsenal might face off against United at the Emirates without a backup for Van Persie on the bench as Henry has reportedly picked up a calf injury while training yesterday. Though it is a minor injury, Henry has only got 3 more days to get himself fully fit and the Frenchman is likely to miss one of the big games of his two month loan spell.
More importantly, Mikel Arteta is fighting against time to be fit for Sunday having picked up a calf injury prior to the Swansea game. Arteta’s absence was sorely felt last weekend as we struggled to control possession and his replacement, Benayoun, wasn’t able to link defence and attack as efficiently as the Spaniard. It could be a huge blow for Arsenal as they gear up to revenge that horrible 8-2 loss at Old Trafford and fingers crossed that Arteta makes it.
On the positive side, Wenger will welcome back Vermaelen to the squad and he is likely to fill in at left back replacing Miquel who had a tough game against Swansea. With Djourou, Koscielny and Mertesacker completing the back four, Arsenal’s defence will look a lot more solid at least on paper.
Bakary Sagna is also likely to be in the squad, albeit on the bench after a three month layoff. The French fullback injured his knee at White Hart Lane and had to undergo surgery as a result. His return will certainly boost Arsenal’s defence ahead of the Champions League fixture against AC Milan with important home games against Spurs, Chelsea and Man City to follow.
Jack Wilshire is close to resume full training and is expected to be fit for the two legged tie against AC Milan. Andre Santos, Carl Jenkinson, Coquelin and Gibbs are all returning to fitness and if there are no further setbacks, all these players will be available for selection by the beginning of March.
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