Arsenal handed Podolski fitness boost ahead of City clash, Sagna to have test today


Arsene Wenger confirmed right-back Bacary Sagna will have a fitness test ahead of this weekend's match against Manchester City.

Arsenal face a huge game against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium this weekend and most of the pre-match talk has centred around the fitness of key players.

Arsene Wenger confirmed at the pre-match press conference this morning that Bacary Sagna will have a fitness test today on a hamstring problem and remains a doubt ahead of the Premier League clash tomorrow.

Sagna has been missing in the recent past with the injury, which has meant a chance for Carl Jenkinson to come back into the side. However, given the magnitude of the match against City this weekend, it would be surprising if the Frenchman doesn’t start if he passes the fitness tests.

“Yesterday the players came in, everybody felt alright. We have doubts about Sagna. He has a test today - I'm optimistic Sagna will be fit,” said the Arsenal boss.

Lukas Podolski is also in contention to start the game after suffering with a similar injury. The German has been missing for a large chunk of the season and will provide a lot of balance on the left of Arsenal’s midfield when he starts regularly.

Wenger confirmed that the German is available but the match could come too soon for him as he battles against a lack of match fitness.

“Lukas Podolski is available. He is just short so he will be ready for the next game,” added the Frenchman.

There is no point in Arsenal taking a risk with Podolski, especially when there is so much talent in the midfield of the Premier League leaders, with them proving they can cope without the German at the moment.

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The worry is how much pressure City will look to place on Jenkinson with there a realistic chance Sagna won't be fit. However, the youngster has been waiting in the wings to step in and make the right-back slot his own and this is another chance for him to prove he’s good enough.

Wenger also hinted that Theo Walcott could feature in the game after proving that he's got his match fitness and power back during mid-week, which could mean some natural pace on the right hand side against City.

Do you think Wenger should risk Sagna?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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