By Chris Harris
Theo Walcott and Eduardo look set to return to the Arsenal squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Burnley.
Walcott has not played since dislocating his shoulder while on international duty in November and Eduardo suffered a hamstring injury after scoring two goals in his comeback match against Cardiff last month.
Arsène Wenger hopes both will be involved at Emirates Stadium this weekend but the Arsenal manager will be without Kolo Toure, who limped out of the Hawthorns with a calf problem on Tuesday night. William Gallas could step in after shrugging off an ankle problem but Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) is still sidelined.
“I will see how they [Walcott and Eduardo] look tomorrow and Saturday but they will certainly be in the squad, especially Theo,” Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. “We have to wait and see how Eduardo reacts and responds to his injury.
“We are quite optimistic about Kolo but we have to assess the situation today completely. I don't think I will involve him on Sunday. But Gallas should be back for Sunday and it looks to be like Kolo will be back for next week [against Roma].
“Adebayor is definitely out for Sunday and for Roma too.”
Wenger will rotate his squad for the FA Cup with Lukasz Fabianski replacing Manuel Almunia in goal. Next week’s Champions League tie at Roma looms large but the Frenchman is putting Europe to the back of his mind for now.
“Sunday is a big game for us and rotation will be there for some players who have played full games,” said Wenger. “Fabianski will continue in goal and we will try to have a good balance, a good quality.
“The most important thing for us is not to think about Roma, but to focus on this game and qualify. The best way to deal with the next game is to win this one.”
Subscribers can watch our exclusive interview with Wenger on Friday morning. The boss discusses:
- Closing the gap on Aston Villa
- Nicklas Bendtner’s improvement
- The peak age for a striker
- Alex Song’s role in the team
- Burnley’s strengths and tactics
- His assessment of the Championship
- What makes the FA Cup so special
- The importance of winning a trophy
Subscribers can watch this exclusive interview on Friday morning.Copyright 2013 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 5 Mar 2009