Vermaelen and Arteta to miss Utd clash
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is facing an injury predicament ahead of the visit of Manchester United this weekend, with defender Thomas Vermaelen almost certain to be unavailable, midfielder Mikel Arteta definitely out and forward Thierry Henry facing a late fitness test.
The Gunners go into Sunday's game off the back of successive Premier League defeats to Fulham and Swansea, and are four points off fourth-placed Chelsea. Although Wenger does not like to admit it his side will also be seeking revenge for their humiliation at the hands of United last August, when they were beaten 8-2 at Old Trafford.
Discussing his injury concerns ahead of Sunday, Wenger started by confirming that Vermaelen was highly unlikely to play.
"At the moment I don't think he will make it for Sunday," said the Frenchman of Vermaelen, who last featured in the New Year's Eve victory over Queens Park Rangers and continues to struggle with a calf injury.
"Let's hope we have a good surprise. Let's see how he develops. There may be a test. At the moment we just go day by day but he looks short."
Speaking about Arteta, who is carrying a similar problem, Wenger added: "He has no chance. The earliest for him is Aston Villa."
Henry is also harbouring a calf issue and will face a fitness test on Saturday in the hope of facing United, whilst goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is fit again.