Arsene Wenger is optimistic that the midfield trio of Cesc, Hleb, and Flamini may well be fit to play Sunday's match against Chelsea. All three players have been training and with RVP playing Steaua Bucharest midweek, we might have the luxury of a full compliment of starters for a long time. Theo Walcott will not be available because of a knee strain picked up in the Bucharest game.
Wenger also appealed to fans not to take their anger out against Ashley Cole who will be making his first return since leaving Arsenal acrimoniously in August 2006. The focus should be supporting the club and remembering Cole's contribution. Well, I think the circumstances in which he left would be enough for the drying up of any goodwill. To add insult to injury he then snitched on Wenger in his book. So I think Cole is fair game for any sort of reception that he might get short of bodily injury.
Betting odds are mixed as Boylesports puts Arsenal at 8/5 favourites to beat Chelsea and Ladbrokes offers a 9/4 in favour of Chelsea. In 15 games at Arsenal, Chelsea have only one once, drawn five, and lost nine. The return of the midfield trio will increase Arsenal's chances and the odds will be redrawn once Wenger announces his lineup. Chelsea will be without Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack, and the indefatigable Michael Essien.
Ray Houghton gives Arsenal a 4/1 odds to win with Adebayor scoring the winning goal. He also expects Liverpool to win which would be nice for the Gunners who would like a bit of separation at this stage from Man Utd in points.