By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger may be able to recall his No 1 and No 2 goalkeepers into the Arsenal squad for the home game with Birmingham on Saturday.
Lukasz Fabianski will be included for the first time this season after recovering from knee surgery. Manuel Almunia is 50:50 to return after missing more than a month with a chest infection.
Gael Clichy and Abou Diaby both collected ankle injuries with France during the break. The left back is a doubt but the midfielder is expected to recover. Eduardo (thigh) is still out but Cesc Fabregas will play despite missing Spain’s game in midweek for personal reasons.
Meanwhile Wenger revealed that, if he progresses well, Samir Nasri could return from his broken leg in the Carling Cup tie against Liverpool.
The Arsenal manager spoke to TV Online around lunchtime on Thursday when some of his players had not yet returned from international duty. However, as ever, the Frenchman told the official website as much as he could about the injury news.
“It is a difficult question to answer at the moment because we don’t have everybody back and we don’t have news from Bendtner and Arshavin,” said Wenger.
“But Clichy got a little knock on his ankle and Diaby was kept out of the French squad last night because of an ankle problem as well. But we believe the problem to Diaby should be very minor.
“Eduardo is not available, he is too far away. Almunia could be available for the game. It is 50:50.
“Fabianski is available and will be in the squad for the weekend. As for Nasri, I believe he could be back in the group for the Liverpool game. If all goes well he could be in the team.”
Arsenal TV Online will carry the full interview on Friday morning. In it, Wenger talks about:
- getting back to Premier League football
- assessing his side’s start to the season
- why there’s lots of goals and no draws at the moment
- the number of defeats the eventual champions will have
- sticking with a settled back four
- Birmingham’s return to the top flight
- the last time Arsenal played Birmingham
- 'Arsenal For Everyone' day on Saturday