herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Wenger's hands tied as Gunners push to seal third

Arsene Wenger is ready to unleash both Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie from kick-off as Arsenal look to secure third place with victory over Europa League finalists Fulham on Sunday.

The Gunners have seen another campaign which promised so much end without silverware for a fifth successive year.

And arch rivals Tottenham could yet overtake Wenger's men in the Premier League -- and with it secure direct qualification to the Champions League group stages -- were Fulham, likely to field a changed side, to pull off a victory at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger has seen his plans hit by injuries to key men like Van Persie and captain Cesc Fabregas at various stages of the season.

Yet with the current options limited, the Gunners boss maintains he has little room for manoeuvre in terms of team selection after Tomas Rosicky (ankle), Alex Song (knee) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) all picked up knocks to keep them out.

"We have the same players available (from Blackburn). The only good news is that we may have (Gael) Clichy back," Wenger said.

Wenger has admitted he needs to add a couple of experienced heads this summer, but only ones who are "top class".

The arrival of Morocco international Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer is set to be confirmed once the striker's contract with Bordeaux expires. Wenger is also said to be targeting a central defender.

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