Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger confirmed that Sagna will face late fitness test ahead of their match against Manchester City, while Podolski is short of match fitness.
Arsenal head into this all-important fixture against Manchester City with one primary injury concern – Bacary Sagna. The right back’s last appearance was in the 0-3 win over Cardiff in the Premier League and he has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury. His absence could be a huge blow for the Gunners as they come up against the potent attack in England at the moment. Jenkinson has stepped in the side, but he could be exposed by the likes of Silva and Nasri in the game. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the Frenchman will undergo a late fitness test to confirm his availability and he is remains positive that Sagna will recover in time for the match.
“The final check will be made on Friday morning because only yesterday the players came in. But everybody felt alright. We have some doubts. The main doubt we have is about Sagna, who will have a test [on Friday] and after that I will make the decision about whether I take him with us or not.
“I am optimistic [about Sagna making it] but it’s my nature.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Lukas Podolski is also close to returning to first team action, but Wenger insists that the German international, whose last appearance was in the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce back in August, is yet to regain match fitness and is likely to be available from next weekend.
“He is available. I feel he is still a bit short to go into a match of that level of intensity but after this weekend I will consider him to be available.” – Wenger added.
Theo Walcott has returned to full fitness, but the England international is yet to start a game since his return from injury. But Wenger has revealed that the winger is back to full fitness and is in contention for a place in the starting line-up, although he refused to reveal his decision at this moment.
“Honestly I [about Walcott starting against Manchester City] haven’t made that decision but it took him a while to get back to real sharpness. Since this week he looked to me that he has found back his normal level. He is coming back from surgery and it took him a while to get back to his full power.” – He said.
Arsenal’s likely starting line-up against Manchester City [4-2-3-1]: Szczesny (GK); Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Arteta; Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud