Thursday, 6 November 2008

Arsenal Boss Wenger To Gamble On Silvestre For United Clash?

Aside from the form of his Arsenal team manager Arsene Wenger has many injury worries ahead of the Gunners must-win clash against Premier League Champions Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, with the Frenchman revealing that he may take a “gamble” by making summer signing Mikael Silvestre available against the defenders former club.

Silvestre broke his nose in the Champions League tie against Fenerbahce on Wednesday, but Wenger feels that he could play and will decide on whether to take a gamble with the French International over the next 48 hours.

“Mikael has a broken nose with an open wound on the side,” said Wenger.

“Basically he should be capable of playing. But in the next 48 hours I will have to decide what we do. You cannot rule him out and I feel he can play. But I have to decide whether I go for the gamble or not.”

Manuel Almunia, who missed the match with the Turkish side through illness, is expected to replace Lukas Fabianski in goal, while Theo Walcott (shoulder) and captain William Gallas (hamstring) are both major doubts, with Wenger to take a decision on the fitness of the duo on Friday afternoon.

“We will not know about Walcott and Gallas before tomorrow afternoon. It is 50:50 for both,” said Wenger.

“But Manuel Almunia was back in training today so he will be available.”

Wenger is definitely without striker Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle) and Emmanuel Eboue (knee) for the visit of the Red Devils, while Dutch International Robin van Persie will miss the game with United through suspension. Bacary Sagna, who was on the bench for the tie with Fenerbahce after also being injured at Stoke along with Adebayor and Walcott, is also a concern for Wenger.

Wenger continued: “As for Sagna, there was a gamble on him that I did not want to take [last night]. We could not take it today in training either. He still needed to be out of impact work.

“I think he should be OK for Saturday but there is still a slight concern.”

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