Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CL Preview : Team News Arsenal vs Braga


Injuries are again becoming a worrying theme for the Gunners, whose ambitions last season were undermined by a crowded treatment room. Although Belgian centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, who missed Saturday’s Bolton game with an Achilles problem, should be back in contention, substitute Abou Diaby lasted only 13 minutes in that match before being replaced himself after suffering a leg injury.

Forwards Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott have both been ruled out until mid-October with ankle injuries, seriously depleting Wenger’s striking options, but midfielder Samir Nasri, who underwent surgery on a minor knee problem on August 18, is back in action.

Danish international Nicklas Bendtner has not played since the World Cup thanks to a groin injury, while an abdominal strain had kept midfielder Denilson sidelined until his substitute appearance on Saturday.

Meanwhile Aaron Ramsey (broken leg) and Emmanuel Frimpong (cruciate knee ligament damage) are long-term absentees.

Summer signings Marouane Chamakh, Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci could all make their first Champions League appearances in an Arsenal shirt.

Possible Starting XI: Almunia; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Rosicky, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere; Chamakh, Arshavin.


Paciencia will be without Elderson and Leandro Salino, who both serve one-game suspensions on Matchday 1.

Also sidelined is Quim, who ruptured his right Achilles tendon in pre-season training and is expected to be out until the new year.

Mossoro played in a 4-1 friendly victory over Vizela on 1 September, which was his first appearance since he fractured his right leg against Benfica in March.

But Braga have plenty of options, having brought in no fewer than 17 new faces during the summer, including Lima from Belenenses, Artur (Roma), Hugo Viana (Valencia), George Lucas (Santos), Jose Collado (Villarreal), and loan signings Elton (Vasco da Gama), Luis Aguiar (Dinamo Moscow), Felipe (Corinthians) and Leo Fortunato (Cruzeiro).

Possible Starting XI: Felipe; Silvio, Moises, Rodriguez, Miguel Garcia; Vandinho, Luís Aguiar, Alan; Lima, Paulo Cesar, Matheus.

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