Arsenal vs Birmingham City Match Preview
Arsenal failed to gain ground against Chelsea last time out when they lost 2-0 to the Blues at Stamford Bridge. Two special goals, one by Didier Drogba and another by Alex, gave the home side all three points and left the Gunners in 4th place.
Injuries have plagued Arsenal since the season started, with defender Bacary Sagna the latest Gunner to be sidelined. The French international suffered a thigh injury in the Chelsea match. Some relief is on the way, however. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia will be available for the clash with Birmingham at the weekend, and midfielder Cesc Fabregas may be available. Striker Nicklas Bendtner should be available for the first time this season within the next two weeks.
Birmingham City’s unbeaten streak at home ended last week when they lost 0-2 to a superior Everton squad. An own goal by Roger Johnson put the Toffees ahead and Tim Cahill sealed the victory with a header in stoppage time. The Blues had gone 18 matches undefeated until Everton came to town. Now Birmingham hold the 16th spot in the table, immediately ahead of their conquerors.
Chilean international winger Jean Beausejour, who signed for Birmingham at the end of the summer, will be unavailable for the match at The Emirates because of a knee injury. He joins James McFadden on the injury list. Meanwhile midfielder Craig Gardner will miss the Arsenal game due to suspension.
In last season’s league fixtures Birmingham lost 3-1 at The Emirates but managed a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at St. Andrews.
LATE NEWS FROM THE ARSENAL CAMP: Bendtner available for the match this weekend. Gibbs and Walcott, too. Fabregas, however, is listed as "unlikely."