Midfield Headache for Wenger

Arsenal go in to tonight’s rescheduled game with West Ham United boosted by the return of Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who were both absent from Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea through illness.

However, Francis Coquelin and Abou Diaby are out injured, leaving manager Arsene Wenger short of options in midfield, with Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky also side-lined.

Marouane Chamakh will be ineligible for the visitors, who have no fresh injury concerns.

Wenger may have one eye on the performance of Hammers midfielder Mohammed Diame, who is reportedly a £3.5 million target for the club.

Victory for the Gunners would take them to within four points of fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur, ahead of home league games against Liverpool and Stoke City.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has distanced himself from reports that Manchester United bound winger Wilfred Zaha was ever a target for the club, saying they were “never “ in for him, while reports in The Sun say that the two clubs are tussling for QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Elsewhere, Gervinho netted an 88th minute volley to secure a 2-1 victory for Ivory Coast in the Group D opener versus Togo in the Africa Cup of Nations, while Emmanuel Eboue also featured for the Elephants.

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