Arsenal pre-match latest: Including Vermaelen returns and Wenger resisting January transfers

Arsene Wenger Looks On

All the news and gossip from The Emirates before the fixture with Liverpool tonight.

Arsenal have good news regarding the fitness of captain Thomas Vermaelen who is ready to return for the game with Liverpool tonight after missing the FA Cup tie with Brighton due to an ankle injury. Meanwhile despite stepping up their recovery from respective hamstring and calf injuries Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta are likely to be unavailable for the game tonight. Meanwhile Lukasz Fabianski is now back in training and Wenger said he ‘needs to play a game’ which is promising news regarding his injury problems of late.

Meanwhile wholesale changes are expected to be made from the team that started the FA Cup tie at the Amex Stadium this weekend as many players who were rested are expected to return to the team. Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are all expected to start the game. Gervinho is still absent as he will be playing for the Ivory Coast against Algeria later today in the final Group Game of the Afcon 2013.

Liverpool have Jose Reina, Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson all available again after recent injuries.

It appears that Arsenal will not be delving into the transfer market for new players after all as a move for David Villa fell apart. Wenger wants to avoid bringing in players that are ‘average’ and insists he will not simply buy players to placate frustrated fans. Wenger believes he ‘would not be doing his job’ if he was not ‘strong enough to resist’ the urge to bring in new players.

However the Daily Mail feel that Arsenal may take one more crack at the Barcelona striker after he was given the funds necessary for the deal. He reportedly met with chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Monday to acquire the necessary clout to convince Barca to part with the 31-year-old striker who has now become the sole aim for their transfer window.

Wojciech Szcsesny is puzzled by the clubs inconsistent form as in training he feels they play like one of the best teams in Europe. He also insisted that the teams defence was not dodgy and he struggled to think of a reason behind their lack of replication from the training ground to the pitch.

Arsenal have squeezed through to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup after beating Fulham 2-1 after extra time. Arsenal’s first goal came from Anthony Jeffrey after he was played in by the impressive Jack Jebb. Muamer Tankovic equalised for The Cottagers but a goal in extra time form Austin Lipman was enough to force Arsenal through.

It has also been reported that club legend Liam Brady will leave his role as head of the academy at the end of the season. The Irishman has worked with the academy for the last 17 years and Arsenal are considering offering him an ambassadorial role at the club.

What are your thoughts on everything Arsenal on the 30th January 2013?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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