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Wenger sweats on Vermaelen fitness

Arsene Wenger should be given a clearer picture today over Thomas Vermaelen's availability for Sunday's showdown with Manchester United.

Arsenal's fears that Vermaelen may have broken a leg during Wednesday night's goalless draw with Aston Villa were dispelled when a scan failed to uncover any fracture.

But the Belgium defender, a star performer for the Gunners since his £10million summer transfer from Ajax, is struggling to be fit to face the Premier League champions.

"There is no fracture in Thomas' leg but his injury still has to be assessed," Wenger said. "There is still a good chance he will not play on Sunday."

Eduardo will definitely be sidelined against the champions after the striker suffered a hamstring injury at Villa Park, but should be ready for Chelsea seven days later.


"Eduardo has a small, small, small hamstring problem," said Wenger. "He will be out for one week. He will not make Man United but he might make Chelsea."

Nicklas Bendtner, back after a three-month lay-off because of groin surgery, insists he is ready to plug the gap left by Eduardo's absence in Sunday's game.

"We have a lot of big games coming up. I've only trained one time with the team and played half an hour at Villa and everything feels okay," he said.

"We will see how I am and hopefully things will keep progressing so I will be 100pc when the weekend comes.

"If Eduardo is out, am I ready to come in? I wouldn't be here if I was wasn't ready.

"If I play Sunday, I will be ready as well and Manchester United is the sort of big game you'd love to come back into."

Emmanuel Eboue and Alex Song are likely to feature against United after returning from African Nations Cup duty.