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Defender’s health the only concern for Arsenal ahead of Hammers battle

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker in action against Southampton. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport Arsenal's Per Mertesacker in action against Southampton. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Friday, October 5, 2012
10:34 AM

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping to discover later today whether Per Mertesacker will be available for tomorrow’s Premier League trip to West Ham.

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The German centre back is suffering with a virus and missed the 3-1 Champions League victory over Olympiakos on Wednesday.

He has not featured since the 1-1 draw with Manchester City last month, however he is the only new concern ahead of the London derby at Upton Park with Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is still unavailable while keeper Wojciech Szczesny (ankle) is still three weeks away from a return, as is France international Abou Diaby (thigh).

Midfielders Jack Wilshere (ankle), Emmanuel Frimpong (knee) continue their rehabilitation, and defender Bacary Sagna (broken leg) is still out.

On Mertesacker the Gunners boss said: “We will have tests this morning and will assess it after the training session whether I include him or not.”

He added: “From Wednesday night, everybody looks available. There are no major injuries and nobody coming back like Szczesny, Rosicky or Diaby. They are all out.”

Provisional Arsenal squad: Mannone, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Cazorla, Coquelin, Arteta, Gervinho, Podolski, Giroud, Martinez, Walcott, Santos, Djourou, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Koscielny, Arshavin.

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