By Richard Clarke

Cesc Fabregas has a “50:50” chance of returning to the Arsenal side for the top-of-the-table clash with Aston Villa on Sunday.

The midfielder has been missing since the draw at Burnley on December 16 because of a hamstring injury and was still feeling it to such an extent on Christmas Eve that he was pulled out of training. When Arsène Wenger spoke to Arsenal.com on Christmas Day, the Spaniard’s involvement was in the balance.

“There is still an uncertainty about him,” said the manager. “He was supposed to practice on Christmas Eve but he still had some pain in his leg. We did not get him out so we still don’t know if he will be available for the squad or not. It is 50:50.

“He is a very influential player and a great player too so I want him to be with us.”

On a brighter note, Armand Traore will be available again. The Frenchman has recovered from the hamstring problem he collected at Liverpool on December 13.

“Compared to the game against Hull we have Traore available again,” said Wenger. “But he is the only one back.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 25 Dec 2009