By Richard Clarke
The absence of Robin van Persie means
Eduardo will have the opportunity to stake a claim for a
permanent place in the Arsenal line-up - starting on Saturday
The Croatian has been relatively quiet since signing from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer. He has two goals in seven appearances but has been struck down with a niggling groin injury in recent weeks.
It is ironic therefore that Van Persie's knee problem - which is now expected to keep him out for four to six weeks - could open the door for the 24-year-old.
"Eduardo, it could be time for him," said Wenger at Friday's press conference. "He has started very well."
In other team news for the weekend, William Gallas will start for the first time since August 19. Gilberto will be among the substitutes after the long trip back from Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Columbia. The fit-again Tomas Rosicky may join him there.
"Gilberto travelled last night so he will be on the bench," said Wenger. "Tomas could be back on the bench too but I will decide that tomorrow.
"Gallas will start because he started with his national team. Senderos is out with a back injury.
"I feel Robin van Persie will be out for four to six weeks. I count six so hopefully I will not be disappointed."
As revealed by Arsenal.com on Thursday, Manuel Almunia will retain his place. The fit-again Jens Lehmann will not be involved at all.
"He can go on the bench," said the manager. "But for tomorrow I have decided to leave him out completely."