By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger will welcome back four major players for the visit of Blackburn on Saturday and is hopeful that Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner and Aaron Ramsey will shake off minor problems to retain their places in the squad.
Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Alex Song (knee), Theo Walcott (ankle) and Abou Diaby (groin) all return after missing the 2-2 draw at West Brom almost a fortnight ago. The other trio picked up their injuries on national duty but, speaking to TV Online on Thursday afternoon, Wenger described Van Persie (knee) and Bendtner (ankle) as having a “good chance” to be involved. However, a final decision on those two, and Ramsey (groin) will be made after training on Friday.
The only definite absentee is Denilson who has a toe injury.
“[Fabregas, Song, Walcott and Diaby] will all be available,” said the manager. “I have not decided if they will start the game yet but they will all be available.
“Van Persie has a good chance too. He has a final assessment tomorrow but we believe he will be fit. It is a bruised knee.
“Nicklas Bendtner is in the same situation. He will have a test tomorrow on his ankle and we’ll see.
“In fact, we have a few players with tests tomorrow – Ramsey with his groin, Bendtner with his ankle, Van Persie with his knee. I will make a decision after training in the morning.
“We just have Denilson out. It is short–term. We have one or two players with question marks but all the other players will be available.”
TV Online subscribers will be able to see the full video later. In it, Arsène Wenger talks about:
- The need for the international break
- Getting the squad ‘joyful’ again
- Aaron Ramsey captaining Wales
- The international leaders in the squad
- Wilshere’s desire to play for England Under-21s this summer
- Blackburn’s battling mentality
- The fitness of Jens Lehmann
- The appointment of Steve Kean
- Scheduling of the last few games in the title race