Arsene Wenger will have better hopes of containing Manchester City’s right hand side when both clash in the biggest ticket of the Premier League this weekend with the news of a possible return for England defender, Kieran Gibbs.
Wenger had the undertone of one trying to find a silver lining in a cloud as he revealed the available players for the vital clash and amidst the nuisance of losing a couple of players, the return of an extra body in defence will please the Arsenal manager.
“Kieran Gibbs will be training again with the squad on Friday and we will see how he goes from there. His news is positive” Wenger said as quoted on Arsenal.com
Where there’s been some fanfare about the dazzling displays of Alexis Sanchez and the return of key midfielders to the team, Arsenal’s preparations for the crunch Sunday lunchtime game at the Etihad has not been without the regular blotches that seem to poop whenever a party kicks in; both Mattieu Debuchy and Mikel Arteta have both been confirmed as set for three-month absences respectively.
Gibbs has had his fair share of injury problems since his breakthrough season in 2008 but he has proven to be getting into that stage of a footballer’s career where more can be expected after years of promise, and to say he has generally delivered will not be flattery. Arsenal’s left side appears to be a little more secure with the employment of his pace and ability to match quick attackers. He has shown good understanding with Alexis Sanchez on the wing and against a team who are very good with working down the flanks, it is good news to have Gibbo’s energies back in the team.
Not that Nacho Monreal may still not be chosen above him when Wenger examines his fitness levels in training on Friday as a player who has not played in about three weeks may find some difficulty walking straight into the starting line-up at such a big occasion which may define the Gunners ambitions to surge into the top four or even go beyond. The Spaniard did not have the best of times in the last game as he failed to cope with the pace of Navas and Pablo Zabaleta - he was caught out of position for Aguero’s opener at the Emirates last September – but he has played enough games since to consider him as one of the most important parts of the squad.
Arsenal may have lost Debuchy and so will not have a complete first-choice defensive set up at the Etihad but Gibbs’ return will give some refreshment to a squad that has been threatened to wilt to it’s veins.
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