Almunia back for Arsenal

First-choice goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has returned to the Arsenal side for this afternoon’s Premier League encounter against Sunderland at the Emirates stadium.

Manager Arsene Wenger had insisted the club would show “solidarity” with Lukasz Fabianski, whose two howlers in midweek saw Arsenal lose 2-1 to Porto in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

But Wenger has gone for experience after Almunia passed a fitness test on his injured finger.

Sol Campbell, whose backpass led to Porto’s second goal in Portugal, is on the bench for the Gunners while Darren Bent and Kenwyne Jones start up front for a Sunderland side anxious not to be dragged into the relegation struggle.

Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue, Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Walcott, Fabregas, Ramsey, Nasri, Bendtner.

Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Traore, Campbell.

Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Mensah, Turner, McCartney, Campbell, Cana, Ferdinand, Richardson, Bent, Jones.

Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Zenden, Malbranque, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Mwaruwari.

Referee: Steve Bennett.

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