Arsenal takes on United

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Arsenal is trying to get England stars David Seaman and Ashley Cole fit for Saturday's big game against Manchester United while there seems little chance of Dav

Arsenal takes on United

London:

Arsenal is trying to get England stars David Seaman and Ashley Cole fit for Saturday's big game against Manchester United while there seems little chance of David Beckham being on the Reds lineup. "Ashley Cole is in contention for the game," said Gunners manager Arsene Wenger. "David Seaman is available but he has not played a game in training yet so I will see how far I can go with him on Friday before I decide". Veteran goalkeeper Seaman has been missing for two games because of a groin injury while Cole missed last weekend's 3-1 victory over Aston Villa because of an ankle problem. The defending champions are unlikely to push Cameroon defender Lauren, Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu or midfielder Ray Parlour into the starting lineup, however, because they have only just returned to action in the reserve team. "They are short of full fitness, and some are shorter than others," Wenger said. "But I will decide later". Likewise, United manager Alex Ferguson won't rush England captain Beckham back into the lineup unless he's sure he has fully recovered from a broken rib suffered against Southampton a month ago. Beckham has been back in training but Ferguson fears he may not yet be ready to stand the full weight of a challenge on his ribcage. The Reds and the Gunners meet before 67,500 fans at Old Trafford, with Arsenal holding a four-point lead in the title race and Ferguson's team a further two behind in fourth place. If United wins, it throws the title race wide open, especially with second-place Liverpool expected to win at Charlton. An Arsenal victory will mean a nine-point advantage over United, the club it considers its biggest rival. The game is a tough one to call. United has won five out of its last six games but is suspect at home, while Arsenal has climbed out of a slump and is coming off a 3-0 win over Aston Villa. The Gunners also go to Old Trafford in the knowledge that the last time they went there in May, they won 1-0 to clinch the championship with a game to spare. (AP)

Topics : Football
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