Arsenal v Birmingham preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:22

Arsenal v Birmingham preview

Arsenal will be without captain Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) and Theo Walcott (ankle) for the game, but striker Robin van Persie (hamstring) should return and he will captain the side if, as expected, he is passed fit.
Centre-back Laurent Koscielny has recovered from a back injury, while midfielder Abou Diaby is available again after suspension.
Defender Thomas Vermaelen continues his recovery from an Achilles problem.
Alexander Hleb is Birmingham’s major injury concern ahead of the game after suffering a knee injury during the FA Cup fifth-round victory over Sheffield Wednesday last weekend. A scan has shown severe bruising as opposed to any serious ligament damage and Blues will monitor his fitness.
Central defender Martin Jiranek is available after missing the 3-0 win against the Owls with a thigh injury. Striker Cameron Jerome is also expected to recover from the ankle setback sustained during that game. On-loan Tottenham winger David Bentley and January signing Curtis Davies are both cup-tied.
Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Nasri, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin, van Persie, Almunia, Gibbs, Eboue, Denilson, Chamakh, Bendtner, Squillaci.
Birmingham (from): Foster, Taylor, Carr, Parnaby, Johnson, Jiranek, Ridgewell, Murphy, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Bowyer, Fahey, Beausejour, Hleb, Mutch, Jerome, Zigic, Martins, Phillips, Derbyshire.

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