2006-11-17

Arsenal will face Newcastle without two players

Wenger team will be without vital midfielders Gilberto and Freddie Ljungberg for tomorrow’s Barclays Premiership clash with Newcastle United.

As we said in a previous article, the 30-year-old Gilberto returned to Brazil to deal with a family matter, and is not expected back until Sunday.

“I had him on the phone last night, and he is there for sickness reasons,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted.

“In fact, the situation looks quite good now, and hopefully he will be in on Monday morning, so we will see him for the Champions League clash.”

Ljungberg will also be rested again tomorrow after several weeks out with a calf injury.

“I nearly wanted to pick him, but it is down to the fact that for five weeks he has not played one minute at a competitive level,” Wenger expressed.

Brazilian striker Julio Baptista, however, is available, along with goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, who has recovered from the heavy cold which saw him miss the win over Liverpool and Germany’s midweek Euro 2008 qualifier in Cyprus.

What's more, midfielder Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is still a week or so away from fitness, while Abou Diaby (ankle) and Lauren (knee) are long-term absentees.

This will be the team to face Newcastle: Lehmann, Hoyte, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Fabregas, Hleb, Henry, van Persie, Baptista, Almunia, Djourou, Senderos, Eboue, Song, Flamini, Walcott, Aliadiere, Adebayor.

Gilberto to miss game against Newcastle

Arsenal’s Brazilian midfielder Gilberto is likely to be missing from their home derby against relegation – strugglers Newcastle United on Saturday in the Premiership.

In fact, Gilberto, the thirty year old Brazilian, has had to return home to attend to a family matter that appeared to have been a matter of some urgency.

ACcording to close sources, it is not clear what the problem back in Brazil appears to be, but it is unlikely that he will have returned in time for the game at The Emirates Stadium.

We must consider that Gilberto also pulled out of Brazil’s international friendly against Switzerland during the week. The game was won 2 – 1 by Brazil.