A tale of Tom, Sol and Bill

Defenders dominate coverage of the Arsenal in this morning’s papers ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial Champions League game at Porto. It seems Thomas Vermaelen will play but will do so in pain, Bill Gallas may not as he is in pain and Sol Campbell may play because, er, Gallas is in pain. That make sense? Thought not.
The Daily Mail tells us that TV5 is still suffering from heavy bruising he picked up against Villa but has been able to play with the help of pain-killers and will do so again in the Estádio do Dragão.
He said: ‘It turned out that I could play against Manchester United, but after that game I had some more problems, so I went for another scan. We could see then that there was a big bruise on the bone, and that’s all – so it is painful but that can be controlled with medicine and when it is not broken, you can’t do too much wrong. It is not a big problem to play – yes it is still there and will take some time to go away, but it is not dangerous.’
The Sun picks up on the quotes and reminds us that defeats to United and Chelsea were setbacks in our title bid but we have since got back to winning ways with maximum points against Liverpool. And Vermaelen added: “We will keep fighting to the end as a team, that is all we can do. The important thing is to stay together. When you lose, it is easy to say it is his fault or his fault, but I think it is important to remain as a team and a unit. We will battle until the last moment of the season.”
The Mirror informs us that Sol is on standby for a Champions League return with Gallas a doubt for the trip to Porto. Gallas missed yesterday’s training session at London Colney after aggravating his long-standing back problem, says the paper. And while AW expects the French defender to pull through, Campbell is in line to play if Gallas does not recover. Gallas’ problem was the last thing Wenger wanted, however, with Andriy Arshavin and Alex Song both set to stay behind and a further doubt over Tomas Rosicky.
The Daily Star reminds us that Sol last played for us in Europe when he scored in the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League Fina and adds that AW also has Mikael Silvestre to call on, but Campbell appears to be above the Frenchman in the pecking order.
But Eduardo may well have recovered from injury to feature in the first leg of the knockout tie, says the Guardian. While Eduardo’s reintroduction after a three-week absence nursing a hamstring problem will represent a timely boost for Arsenal’s front line, AW would be keenest for Song to prove his fitness with the Cameroonian labouring with a knee injury, says the paper.
It says the 22-year-old has impressed this season in a defensive midfield brief but emerged from the win over Liverpool having suffered a slight strain to his medial knee ligaments. With Porto desperate to gain a lead from the first leg, his presence would be welcome.
Dose Song up with whatever it is that TV5 is taking and play him, AW — the game could be a season-defining one. You can always rest him against Sunderland on Saturday.

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