Arsenal v Birmingham preview

Arsenal welcome back strikers Nicklas Bendtner (groin) and Theo

Walcott (ankle) from injury, but will still be without captain Cesc

Fabregas (hamstring). Centre-half Laurent Koscielny (back) misses

out, as does full-back defender Bacary Sagna who suffered a thigh

problem while away with France, but England Under-21s full-back

Kieran Gibbs returns from his calf injury. Goalkeeper Manuel

Almunia (elbow), centre-back Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles), Aaron

Ramsey (leg) and Robin van Persie (ankle) are still out. Birmingham

striker Cameron Jerome is doubtful for the game against the

Gunners. Jerome suffered an ankle injury during training and,

although it is not serious, it could keep him out of the encounter

with Arsene Wenger’s side. Nikola Zigic could make his first league

start for City since his £6 million summer move from Valencia

if Jerome is unfit while former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb

has recovered from the ankle knock which kept him out of Belarus’

Euro 2012 qualifiers with Luxembourg and Albania but his midfield

colleague Craig Gardner is again ruled out as he serves the second

game of a three-match ban for his red card against Wigan. Gunners

(from): Fabianski, Eboue, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy, Nasri, Song,

Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh, Szczesny, Denilson, Diaby,

Gibbs, Lansbury, Vela, Walcott, Bendtner. Birmingham (from):

Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson,

Hleb, Fahey, Jerome, Zigic, Taylor, Parnaby, Murphy, Jiranek,

Michel, Valles, Phillips, Derbyshire, O’Connor.