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Spurs in a relegation battle?

Tottenham 31 minutes ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 17, 2008

Lehmann set to make farewell home appearance

Veteran Jens Lehmann could be set for his final home appearance in front of Arsenal fans this weekend.

The 38-year-old is in line to retain the goalkeeper's jersey with regular number one Manuel Almunia still struggling to overcome a wrist problem which ruled him out of the defeat at Manchester United last weekend, which effectively ended the Gunners' slim title hopes.

Lehmann performed admirably at Old Trafford, even though he was unable to do much about United's goals, which came from a penalty by Cristiano Ronaldo and a superb free-kick over the wall from Owen Hargreaves.

Even though the outspoken German - who turned down the chance to move to former club Borussia Dortmund in January - has not mixed his words over team selection, branding Arsenal's Champions League exit to Liverpool 'a disaster' as he watched from the bench once again at Anfield, manager Arsene Wenger insists their disagreements are 'always full of respect'.

Lehmann - who has made more than 180 appearances since signing from Dortmund in July 2003, but only 11 this season - is on stand-by to keep goal for what could be the final time at Emirates Stadium against Reading on Saturday, with Arsenal's last home game scheduled for May 4.

Wenger confirmed Almunia will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the visit of the relegation-battling Royals.

'Maybe Manuel Almunia will be available, I don't know,' Wenger told Arsenal's official website. 'I will make a decision on Friday morning. He got injured in training on the Friday before Manchester.

'We sent him for a scan and there was an inflammation so he could not play.'

Arsenal, whose season has unravelled over the past six weeks, will again be without midfielder Mathieu Flamini and full-back Bacary Sagna this weekend as both men continue to recover from ankle problems.

Justin Hoyte is out of contention after suffering a slight hamstring injury when playing for the reserves, but Brazil youngster Denilson is now available following a similar worry.

Wenger, meanwhile, has not yet confirmed whether winger Tomas Rosicky has, as according to the player's own official website, returned to the Czech Republic in a bid to be fit again from a troublesome knee problem for this summer's European Championships.

Reports have also suggested striker Eduardo da Silva has now been allowed to return to Brazil to continue his rehabilitation following his horrific broken leg at Birmingham, which proved to be the turning point in Arsenal's season.