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I’ll be ready for Birmingham clash says fit-again Arsenal star

PUBLISHED: 19:00 13 October 2010

Japan's midfielder Makoto Hasebe (front) heads the ball ahead of Denmark's striker Nicklas Bendtner during the Group E first round 2010 World Cup football match Denmark vs. Japan on June 24, 2010 at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg. NO PUSH TO MOBILE / MOBILE USE SOLELY WITHIN EDITORIAL ARTICLE   --       AFP PHOTO / PEDRO UGARTE (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan's midfielder Makoto Hasebe (front) heads the ball ahead of Denmark's striker Nicklas Bendtner during the Group E first round 2010 World Cup football match Denmark vs. Japan on June 24, 2010 at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg. NO PUSH TO MOBILE / MOBILE USE SOLELY WITHIN EDITORIAL ARTICLE -- AFP PHOTO / PEDRO UGARTE (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

2010 AFP

Striker Nicklas Bendtner has not played since being injured at the World Cup in June, but is close to a return for the Gunners

NICKLAS Bendtner expects to make his first team comeback against Birmingham City on Saturday, writes Jem Maidment.

The Denmark striker, who has yet to feature for Arsenal this season because of a groin strain picked up during the World Cup, claims he is in the ‘best physical shape ever’.

He has been forced to watch on the sidelines as new signing Marouane Chamakh has netted four goals, but now the 22-year-old says he can breathe new life in to Arsenal’s faltering title challenge

“It [the groin] feels absolutely fantastic,” Bendtner was quoted as saying this week. “I am sure that I will be involved in the Arsenal game on Saturday, which I am looking so much forward to after my long injury break.

“I actually believed that I would have to play a couple of reserve games to be completely match fit, but after training with the Arsenal staff and physical trainer, I am probably in the best physical shape ever.

“Last week I was training with my team mates for five days, and then we had the weekend off, and I had no trouble at all training.”

Meanwhile, Samir Nasri, who hopes to continue his superb early season form when Alex McLeish’s side visit the Emirates on Saturday, says he is desperate for Arsenal to end their trophy drought.

The 23-year-old France midfielder, who featured in both of France’s Euro 2012 qualifiers in the past week, said he wants to be remembered as a winner when his career has ended.

“I hope we’ll have won some trophies, that’s the most important thing, to have been part of a side that has marked the history of the club by winning trophies,” said Nasri.

“My personal ambitions are of secondary importance, the only way you’ll be remembered is by being part of a successful team.”

Nasri was part of the France side that defeated Romania 2-0 on Saturday and then Luxembourg by the same score on Tuesday night, a game in which fellow Gunners Abou Diaby and Gael Clichy also featured. Diaby has recovered from an ankle injury and will also be available for Saturday’s game with Birmingham.


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