Arshavin set to face Cottagers
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Andrey Arshavin should face Fulham at the weekend.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 24/09/09 7:19pm
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Andrey Arshavin should face Fulham at the weekend, while Theo Walcott is close to returning.
Russia international Arshavin has not featured for the Gunners since aggravating groin and knee injuries against Wales at the start of September.
But Wenger is confident the playmaker will be able to feature when Arsenal make the short trip to Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The Frenchman told Sky Sports News: "Arshavin should be back."
He added: "Arshavin gives us an attacking option which is always very interesting. Away from home he is always very efficient.
"He is a guy that turns up at the right moment or can score himself."
Wenger may also give Walcott a maiden first-team appearance of the season against Fulham.
But the Arsenal boss, who saw his side defeat West Brom in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, admits the England star is still not 100 per cent after a back problem.
Wenger said of Walcott: "He has only played 45 minutes since June so he lacks a little bit of competition.
"He was short for the West Brom game, but he is available again.
"I feel he is still a bit short because it is the first week he is back for normal training. But the good news is that he is available again."
Arsenal are to hand Robin van Persie an opportunity to prove his fitness on Friday after the Dutch striker missed the win over the Baggies.
Wenger said: "Van Persie should be alright. We have a test tomorrow with him."
But goalkeeper Manuel Almunia will not be fit to travel to Fulham, with Wenger saying: "He is still short, still weak. He is out."