Sport Soccer

Sunday 20 May 2018

Campbell poser for Wenger after Vermaelen appeal blow

Jeremy Wilson

ARSENE WENGER is facing a major selection dilemma over Sol Campbell and whether he should prioritise the Premier League match against Birmingham this Saturday or next week's Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.

Wenger would be reluctant to play his 35-year-old centre-back in both matches over the space of just five days, but the manager will be without both William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen for the trip to St Andrews this weekend.

Arsenal failed yesterday in an attempt to have Vermaelen's one-match suspension overturned, with an FA regulatory commission hearing dismissing their claim for wrongful dismissal and confirming that the Belgium defender would be banned for the Birmingham match.

It will be the first league game that Vermaelen has missed since joining Arsenal from Ajax last summer.

Campbell has tended to be the third-choice centre-back after Gallas and Vermaelen, but Wenger does have the option of playing Mikael Silvestre and Alex Song against Birmingham -- thus ensuring that the former England defender would be fresh to face Barcelona on Wednesday.

More likely, however, is that Campbell will start against Birmingham and, unless Wenger is completely satisfied with his recovery, he will then opt for Vermaelen and Silvestre against Barcelona. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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