Henry fit to return for Arsenal against PSV
LONDON COLNEY, England, March 6 (Reuters) - Captain Thierry Henry is fit to return and lead Arsenal's attack against PSV Eindhoven in Wednesday's Champions League first knockout round second leg tie, manager Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday.
The France striker had been considered unlikely to play due to lingering back and foot injuries, but he joined in a full practice game on Tuesday morning.
Arsenal trail PSV 1-0 following Ecuadorian midfielder Edison Mendez's low drive in the opening leg in Eindhoven two weeks ago. That win was PSV's first in five attempts against the London club.
'Yes, he can play because he played this morning and he can start if I decide to start him,' said Wenger. 'There is no risk, basically, for his health, no medical problems, but just a risk that he gets a bit worse after the game again and you start from scratch again.'
Wenger conceded that Henry's inclusion in his squad was a major boost to morale as Arsenal bid to follow up Saturday's 2-1 victory over Reading, their first win in five games, following three successive defeats.
'He gives us a capacity to make the difference,' said Wenger. 'And for his passing, his goal-scoring skills - a player like that is vital in a game when you have to score goals.
'He did not practice at all for the last two weeks, but he did a few gym sessions without running, you know, and I don't think he lost too much (fitness).
'He is vital for us because he can score in any minute and he has a psychological impact on our team - and our opponents - so I am very happy to have him available.
Henry, scorer of 10 goals in 17 Premier League appearances this season, has scored 42 goals in 84 Champions League games.
Wenger expects 'another tactical match' as both sides bid for a place in Friday's quarter-final draw in Athens. 'They will defend and catch us on the break, as in the first game,' he said.
Wenger said that it was essential Arsenal defended well and remained patient, relying on the quality of their football to produce chances and goals.
'We have to find solutions, be creative around the box with the speed of our combinations and ruthless when we have a chance,' he said.
Arsenal are unbeaten in 14 Champions League home games since losing to Chelsea in a quarter-final second leg three years ago. They have not lost any of their 21 competitive games at their new Emirates Stadium this season, but have had to fight back after falling behind 11 times.