Emirates prepare to welcome former striker back and hope to have captain available for Champions League clash.
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Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has returned to training ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spanish midfielder has not played since injuring his hamstring in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland on 18 September.
The 23-year-old is joined in the squad by strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott, who are also both now fit.
However, defenders Laurent Koscielny (back), Bacary Sagna (thigh), Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) are all out.
The Gunners are also without midfielder Aaron Ramsey (leg) and forward Robin van Persie (ankle) but England youngster Jack Wilshere is available as his red card in Saturday’s Premier League win over Birmingham does not affect European fixtures.
Arsenal could come up against former striker Eduardo da Silva, who left the club three months ago after three years in London.
Shakhtar’s only injury problem is over Brazilian playmaker Fernandinho, who is out with a long-term injury. Ukraine defenders Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Yaroslav Rakytskiy returned for Friday’s game against Metalurh Donetsk, while attacking midfielder Douglas Costa should return from injury.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be looking for his third win from three matches, with his side topping the group table.
And he says he has not yet decided whether to gamble on Fabregas on Tuesday night.
“Cesc has prepared well. He had a little setback, but got over the hurdle and is ready to play at full fitness, but whether I start him or not, I do not know yet,” said Wenger.
“It will be whether I take a gamble or not, because he has been out for a long time. But physically he is ready and fit – and wanting to play.”
Wenger added: “You know his influence on our team, he is our leader, our passer, he has a good level of assists and a good goalscoring record. Ideally you want him in the team.”
Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Clichy, Squillaci, Djourou, Eboue, Nasri, Song, Diaby, Wilshere, Arshavin, Chamakh, Szczesny, Fabregas, Rosicky, Bendtner, Walcott, Denilson, Vela, Gibbs. (BBC Sport)
Highlights of the two team’s recent Champions League encounters this season.
Partizan 1-3 Arsenal
Braga 0-3 Shakhtar