Szczesny in fitness battle for vital WBA clash

Wojciech Szczesny is struggling to be fit for Arsenal’s vital Premier League encounter with West Brom on Sunday. Reports suggest the Polish keeper has a back problem and a knee injury and faces a race against time to be in shape for the crucial game at the Hawthorns.

Arsenal go in to the game with their destiny in their own hands as far as finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League is concerned. If Szczesny loses his battle to be fit then it would appear that Lukazs Fabianski, seemingly on his way out of the club in the summer because of lack of first team action, will act as his stand-in.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger says there should be no need for Arsenal to worry about what the Tottenham and Newcastle results are on Sunday with the Gunners one point ahead and with a better goal difference.

If Arsenal fail to get the required result, we could finish fourth or indeed fifth if Newcastle, who are two points adrift, win and we lose. And if we don’t achieve third spot it’ll mean a nervous wait to see if Chelski win the Champions League final in Munich, which would mean they take the place in the group stage next season with the fourth-placed Premier League side dropping down into the Europa League rather than going into the qualifiers.

We could have sealed our position last week against Norwich but, as you know, were held to a 3-3 draw and Wenger insists Arsenal cannot afford any more defensive errors like they displayed against the Canaries.

And the week before, a win at Stoke would have helped our cause but we came away with a point from a 1-1 draw.

Wenger said: “We were focused and switched on in the last couple of weeks. At Stoke we had a good game and offensively against Norwich we had a good game. Defensively, though, we had not the expected level.

“Maybe we were focused too much on winning the game and forgot that to win the game you need to defend as well.”

CARL ELDRIDGE


Arsenal fan for 40 years. Schoolboys, North Bank, Clock End then East Upper. Then Emirates. AFC dream team: Wilson, Dixon, Sansom, Adams, Pates, Brady, Williams, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry, Wright. Subs: Seaman, Eldridge, Wilshere, RVP, Ball. Manager: Arsene Chapman.