No place for Vermaelen

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has returned to action from a long-term Achilles injury with the reserves, but will not be rushed back into the first-team squad for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash against leaders Manchester United at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has returned to action from a long-term Achilles injury with the reserves, but will not be rushed back into the first-team squad for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash against leaders Manchester United at Emirates Stadium.

The Belgian centre-half has not featured since the end of August, but played the whole of last night’s goalless second XI game against United at Old Trafford.

Midfielder Abou Diaby (calf) misses out again, but Czech winger Tomas Rosicky could be available after illness.

Team (from): Szczesny, Clichy, Djourou, Koscielny, Sagna, Fabregas, Song, Wilshere, Nasri, Walcott, van Persie, Lehmann, Arshavin, Chamakh, Ramsey, Squillaci, Eboue, Gibbs, Bendtner, Rosicky.

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