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Sagna out of north London derby

Arsene Wenger has revealed full-back Bacary Sagna will not be fit in time for Arsenal’s trip to north London rivals Tottenham on Saturday.

The Gunners, who sit in fifth place in the Premier League, travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday four points behind Spurs, who are in third, while fourth-placed Chelsea host West Brom.

The derby fixture now presents an even more difficult proposition for Wenger’s side after first-choice right-back Sagna failed to recover from a knee injury that saw him miss last weekend’s win over Aston Villa.

“(Sagna) is not ready for Sunday,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website. “It is too short for him.”

Wenger also indicated that left-back Kieran Gibbs is still not ready to return from a thigh problem, while Abou Diaby, who is suffering from a calf complaint, will face late tests.

“Abou is an uncertainty,” the Frenchman added. “He has a calf problem, a minor one. It is question of days. He will have tests and then we will see if we can use him on Sunday or not. It is a 50:50. Actually maybe a bit more for him playing.

“Kieran is not back. That was as we expected.”

Carl Jenkinson is expected to play at right-back, while Nacho Monreal should continue on the left.

Arsenal will be looking to replicate the form that saw them defeat their arch rivals 5-2 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates earlier this season.

Thu 28 Feb, 2013
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