Arsenal will be able to call upon their regular number 1 goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny this weekend after he recovered from a rib problem and will likely depose Vito Mannone in the Arsenal goal for the clash with Southampton at The Emirates.
There will be late fitness tests however for Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby. Both returned from international duty with different ailments as Walcott picked up a virus and Diaby a muscular strain while playing in a goalscoring performance against Finland for France; he is rated at 50:50.
Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Bacary Sagna continue to be laid up with long term injuries.
Arsenal lead the list of young players playing in the Premier League this season. Whilst Fulham have the current oldest average age at 30.4 while Arsenal’s is a babylike in comparison 25.6. They have played 6 players under the age of 25 and only one who is 30 or older in the 3 other games so far this season.
Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is expected to be part of a symposium at The Emirates stadium aimed at allowing managers from across the globe to share the knowledge they have accrued over their years in the game. The Spaniard is currently on a sabbatical from the game where he and his family are currently residing in New York and has agreed to speak as long as it fits in with a fact finding mission he will be conducting around Europe in December.
Arsene Wenger has poured cold water over the possibility of Didier Drogba arriving at the club. The former Chelsea striker is currently in the midst of a contract wrangle with his Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua after an altercation between members of the board has left him shot of the reported £200,000 wages he is supposed to be being paid. The Ivory Coast legend was reportedly becoming an increased target for Wenger and Arsenal but he distanced himself from such talk suggesting as far as he is concerned Drogba has announced his intentions to stay in China so any deal is impossible.
And finally Thomas Vermaelen has backed Olivier Giroud to break his scoring duck this weekend against Southampton, a sentiment shared by us here at HITC. The Frenchman has had a difficult start to the season culminating in being booed off for his national side in the week.
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image: © tpower1978