By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger expects to welcome back three midfielders - including captain Cesc Fabregas - for the visit of West Ham on Saturday.

However the Arsenal manager is increasingly concerned about the ongoing absence of William Gallas.

Fabregas has been out since the win over Burnley on March 6 because of a hamstring injury, meanwhile Tomas Rosicky missed the win at Hull on Saturday due to a mild groin problem. Both are expected to pass fitness tests on Friday morning.

With Alex Song also available after a two-game domestic suspension, Arsenal's midfield is nearly back to full strength. In addition, striker Carlos Vela may also be added to the squad.

However Gallas is still absent with, what Wenger described as, "an endless calf injury". The Frenchman has missed the last six games with the problem and will sit out at least two more.

It is a significant cloud on an otherwise improving injury picture.

"Cesc and Tomas have a final test tomorrow morning," Wenger told TV Online before training on Thursday. "They should be available for Saturday.

"From the last game we don't lose anybody. So normally we should have Fabregas, Carlos Vela and Rosicky back. Plus of course we have Song coming back from suspension.

"However William Gallas will not be available this week or at Birmingham. It is going on and on. It is a concern.

"It is an endless calf strain and so we need Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre to be highly ready to help us out."

TV Online subscribers will be able to see this interview later. In it, Wenger talks about:

  • how he'll watch the Champions League draw
  • how Chelsea's exit may affect them
  • the punch-for-punch title race
  • the benefits of going top for a day
  • why it might come down to goal difference
  • why he thinks West Ham will stay up
  • the disappointments of the draw at Upton Park
Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
18 Mar 2010