By Richard Clarke

Arsenal may have as many as five first-team players back for the trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Gael Clichy (hamstring), Cesc Fabregas (knee), Robin van Persie (thigh), Emmanuel Adebayor (rested) and Bacary Sagna (flu) could all return at The Riverside. Doubts remain over the last of those but the preceding quartet should be available.

However Kolo Toure (calf) and Samir Nasri (ankle) are still sidelined, along with long-term absentees Eduardo (leg) and Tomas Rosicky (hamstring).

“Sagna, Clichy, Fabregas, Van Persie and Adebayor have a reasonable chance to come back,” Arsène Wenger told Arsenal TV Online on Thursday. “Perhaps less certain is Sagna but the other four should be alright.

“However Kolo Toure will still be out and so will Samir Nasri. Plus, of course, the injured players we had before.”

Subscribers can see the full interview with Arsenal TV Online on Friday. He spoke about:

  • The defeat at Porto
  • The possible draw in the Champions League Quarter-Final
  • The Emmanuel Eboue issue
  • Injuries giving a chance to younger players
  • Middlesbrough’s mid-table season
  • The battle at the top of the table
  • Improving Arsenal’s defensive record
  • Going into the Christmas period
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11 Dec 2008