Wednesday, 13 October 2010

International round-up, Bendtner ready for Brum - Fabregas and Walcott to return

Morning Gooners.

We'll start with a look at the international games last night.  Arsenal had eight players involved, all apart from one on the winning side.

  • Gael Clichy and Abou Diaby started for France in their 2-0 win over Luxembourg and completed the game. Samir Nasri was a second  half substitute for Florent Malouda in the 63 minute.
  • Tomas Rosicky played the full 90 as the Czech Republic beat Liechtenstein 2-0.
  • Andrey Arshavin played for 81 minutes as his Russia side beat Macedonia 1-0. 
  • Jack Wilshere was an unused substitute for England senior side as they drew 0-0 with Montenegro.
  • Vito Mannone played the full 90 minutes as his Italy Under-21 failed to qualify for the Under-21 European Championship next summer with a 3-0 defeat to Belarus Under-21. The Italians lose on aggregate 3-2. 
  • Henri Lansbury celebrated his 20th birthday with a second half substitute appearance for England Under-21s as they drew 0-0 with Romania Under-21s qualifying for the Under-21 European Championship. Lansbury was introduced in the 62nd minute.
The players will be heading back to London Colney, ready to join up with the majority who sat out this international break. I think this must have been one of the quietest international rounds in terms of Arsenal players joining up with their countries for quite some time.

And of course because the games were played last night rather than on a Wednesday, Arsene will have an extra day to prepare them for this weekend's match with Birmingham.

We have some early team news ahead of the game this weekend.

Nicklas Bendtner looks to be back in contention for a place in the match day squad as he reveals to the newspaper B.T. of Denmark that he's looking forward to playing football after his extended break from the game through injury.

Bendtner said:
"It feels absolutely fantastic. I am sure that I will be involved in the Arsenal game on Saturday, which I am looking so much forward to that after my long injury break.
"I actually believed, that I would have to play a couple of reserve games to be completely match fit, but after training with the Arsenal staff and physical trainer, I am probably in the best physical shape ever.
"Last week I was training with my team mates for five days, and then we had the weekend off, and I had no trouble at all training."
As regular readers will know, I blogged last month about Bendtner's work with fitness coach Tony Colbert and that Arsene had pencilled in this weekend's game as the striker's target match for a return. Lets hope all that work isn't wasted with a reoccurrence of the injury.

Meanwhile The Sun report captain Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott are back in full training after their respective injuries and could  play on Saturday.

The forgotten man of Arsenal, Robin Van Persie, is also reported to be not far away from a return.

And that is about it.  Just keep everything crossed still until they return injury free. We know what those air stewardesses are like with the drinks trolley!

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