Vermaelen is Back

Whilst Thomas Vermaelen may have been substituted early on in Arsenal’s Carling Cup victory in midweek, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects him to make a full recovery in time for the big match against Chelsea.

The Belgian international had only just returned to first-team action, but lasted just over an hour before he had to be taken off on Tuesday night. Thankfully this has proved to be nothing too serious, and he has the chance of lining up alongside Per Mertesacker in the heart of the Arsenal defence against Chelsea on Saturday.

“Vermaelen might be available to be in the squad,” Wenger told the club’s official website.

“We’ll have to assess him. He is not injured. He came off with a calf problem on Tuesday in the Carling Cup.

“It was cramp because he has not played for a long time and he only had one training session. As I say he is not injured but he might be a little bit short for a game of that intensity.”

Vermaelen to Play against Stoke

Arsenal centre back Thomas Vermaelen is reportedly set to return to the Gunners’ first team this weekend.

The Belgian international has been out of action for the Emirates outfit since August, picking up a serious achilles injury whilst away with his country.

However, the 25-year-old came through 90 minutes for the Arsenal second string in a 0-0 draw against Manchester United last Thursday, and the Daily Mail reports Vermaelen is in-line for a comeback at the Britannia Stadium.

Whilst the Gunners are still mathematically in the title race, second appears to the be the more realistic target for Arsene Wenger’s side as they aim to end the season on a high following victory against the Red Devils on Sunday.

A senior return for Vermaelen would add another positive to the end-of-season party at Arsenal, and could be the first building block towards a successful campaign next term.