Friday, February 1, 2008

Almunia And Gilberto Out of Manchester Clash

Manuel Almunia and Gilberto Silva were ruled out of tomorrow's game at Manchester City. The injured duo will join Johan Djourou, Robin van Persie, and Tomas Rosicky in the stands. Arsenal are also missing Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, and Alex Song due to the African Cup of Nations.

Almunia twisted his thumb in training but should only be out for about a week. Jens Lehmann, Arsene Wenger's first-choice keeper at the beginning of the season, will stand in for the injured Spaniard.

Gilberto is out with a stiff back, but was unlikely to start in Arsenal's congested field of midfield talent which already contains Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini, and Alex Hleb.

Wenger is ready to see the end of the African Nations Cup, as his missing African trio means that Arsenal have only 14 fit outfield players and 2 fit goalkeepers.

"Manuel Almunia is out," revealed Wenger. "He has twisted his thumb. He did it in training today.

"It should be only one week so Jens Lehmann will come in tomorrow. It is a chance for him to play well and to come back with a win. Gilberto is out as well. He has a stiff back.

"For me it is time for the African Nations Cup to finish now," the manager continued.

"We have lost Denilson and Gilberto so we are short in the middle of the park. Tomorrow we are down to 14 outfield players."