By Chris Harris

Robin van Persie will NOT be fit to return against Everton on Saturday - and William Gallas is a doubt for the weekend trip to Merseyside.

The Dutch striker made his first start for two months against Steaua Bucharest on December 12 after a long-term knee injury and came on as a substitute against Chelsea four days later.

He was sidelined for the north London derby with what was described by Arsène Wenger as a "little muscular problem, but a very minor one". Van Persie was expected to feature at Everton but that is no longer the case. To make matters worse, Gallas suffered an injury against Portsmouth on Boxing Day.

"Van Persie will not play on Saturday," confirmed Wenger after the 0-0 draw at Fratton Park. "We don't know about Gallas yet. He got a kick on his foot late in the first half."

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 Chris Harris 27 Dec 2007