Gunners to contest FA charge
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed the club will contest the charge of failing to control their players in the Premier League match against Hull City.
The Football Association have charged Arsenal and Hull with the same offence, in the wake of last Saturday's bad-tempered match at the Emirates Stadium.
The match erupted shortly before half-time when Samir Nasri appeared to tread on the ankle of Hull's Richard Garcia.
Stephen Hunt then clashed with Nasri and a mass confrontation took place in front of referee Steve Bennett, with Arsenal goalkeeper Almunia sprinting 100 yards to get involved.
Players from both sides became embroiled in ugly scenes with Bennett eventually booking Hunt and Nasri.
The charges against the clubs were levelled on Wednesday, and Wenger the club's website: "I think it is harsh but we will try to defend ourselves. I don't think it was a major incident compared to what can happen in a football game.
"At the start, the incident was created by Nasri's involvement but after that it was more players of Hull who were around it than Arsenal players. That's why we will try to defend it."
Arsenal won the match 3-0, and the clubs have until January 13 to formally respond to the FA charges.
The charges are not Arsenal's only concern though, and their main focus this weekend will be on tomorrow's home clash with top-four rivals Aston Villa.
Wenger is hoping to have captain Cesc Fabregas available, however the Spaniard's hamstring injury remains a worry.
"There is still an uncertainty about him," said Wenger. "He was supposed to practice on Christmas Eve but he still had some pain in his leg. We did not get him out so we still don't know if he will be available for the squad or not. It is 50:50.
"He is a very influential player and a great player too so I want him to be with us."
Tomas Rosicky (hamstring), Nicklas Bendtner (groin) and Robin van Persie (ankle) remain sidelined, along with full-back Gael Clichy (back) and Johan Djourou (knee), however Armand Traore is ready to return after his hamstring problem.