By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger may leave it as late as Saturday morning before finally deciding if Cesc Fabregas will be involved against Chelsea this weekend.
The Arsenal captain has been out with a hamstring injury since the 1-1 draw at Sunderland on September 18 and, speaking to TV Online on Thursday, his manager suggested the midfielder's chances of playing at Stamford Bridge on Sunday were less than 50:50.
Manuel Almunia has not had a full training session since injuring his elbow against West Brom last Saturday so Wenger is also unsure if he will figure. However, the manager did confirm that Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) is out while Abou Diaby (ankle) is certain to be in the squad even if he is not quite fit enough to start.
“I don’t know [about Cesc]” said Wenger. “It looks a 50:50 but a 50:50 balancing on the negative side. I will find out on Saturday morning.”
Talking about Almunia, he added: “That one is even more difficult. He has not been in a regular training session. So I will see.
“Vermaelen – no,” Wenger went on. “Abou Diaby has an 80 per cent chance to be involved. I am not sure if he will be completely 100 per cent but it is 100 per cent he will be in the squad.”
Meanwhile there was positive news about two of the longer term injuries.
“Nicklas Bendtner (groin) should be available after the international break,” said Wenger, “and Aaron Ramsey (leg) is progressing very well.”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 30 Sep 2010