Liverpool vs Arsenal team news: Wenger sweating on Vermaelen, Reds waiting on Gerrard
Published 10:41 02/03/12 By John Cross
Arsene Wenger has received mixed injury news ahead of the trip to Liverpool.
Arsenal boss Wenger has threatened to report the Belgian FA to FIFA after Thomas Vermaelen played 90 minutes of a friendly in Greece despite nursing an ankle problem which makes him doubtful for tomorrow.
Alex Song and Gervinho have also been away on international duty in midweek while Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky should be fit after a groin problem. Robin van Persie should be fit after playing in midweek for Holland.
Aaron Ramsey will be out for Liverpool and AC Milan next Tuesday but the shock news was the return of Abou Diaby who will travel to Anfield after his injury ravaged season.
Wenger, who hopes to have Andre Santos back in a fortnight, was unhappy with the Belgian FA and says it makes it hard to justify international friendlies.
Wenger said: "It looks like Belgium has made a decision which I still do not understand and will look to see if we can put a complaint in, because firstly they forced the player to travel, then they forced him to play 90 minutes after being injured.
"They had a centre-back on the bench who did not play at all, in a friendly game knowing they do not even go to the European Championships. For me, that is difficult to understand."
Wenger was quizzed on Lukas Podolski after the German media this week followed up on English newspapers revealing Arsenal's interest in the Cologne striker.
Wenger replied to a question from Sky: "I leave that responsibility to your friends in Germany. They have to check their sources, usually it must be Sky sources."
Wenger admitted Arsenal face a huge test at Liverpool but said victory is vital in the battle for top four.
"You never go to Liverpool and think you have an easy game in front of you. Let's not forget that in 20 years, Liverpool won 18 championships so of course that is still in the history and the minds of every single person in England," said Wenger.
"But things have levelled out now and everybody can take points everywhere. You see that with the results in the Premier League."
Provisional Squad: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Benayoun, Walcott, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, van Persie, Fabianski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Gervinho, Park, Chamakh, Miquel, Diaby.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is awaiting an update on captain Steven Gerrard's fitness ahead of tomorrow's visit of Arsenal.
The midfielder injured a hamstring in England's friendly defeat against Holland on Wednesday while defender Glen Johnson is expected to be fit after pulling out of the national squad on Monday as a precaution.
Centre-back Daniel Agger is likely to miss the next couple of weeks with a cracked rib, meaning Jamie Carragher is likely to get a recall.
Provisional squad: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Adam, Gerrard, Henderson, Bellamy, Suarez, Carroll, Doni, Kelly, Coates, Spearing, Shelvey, Downing, Rodriguez, Kuyt.