Belfast Telegraph

Wilshere optimistic over fitness

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is confident he can win his fitness battle and face Tottenham in Saturday's north London derby at Emirates Stadium.

The 18-year-old was forced to miss England's 2-1 defeat by France at Wembley, where he had been expected to make his first senior international start, because of a back problem.

However, Wilshere - who has impressed this season with 13 starts already - believes he is on course to play against Spurs, and wrote on Twitter on Thursday: "Feeling better today, training tomorrow and hopefully selected for Saturday."

Arsenal have already earned bragging rights this season over Spurs following a Carling Cup third-round victory in September.

To add extra spice to the lunchtime clash, the Gunners have the chance to leapfrog Chelsea, who play at Birmingham later in the afternoon, and go top of the Barclays Premier League.

Former Arsenal captain William Gallas could face his old team-mates, having moved to Spurs during the summer when out of contract.

Full-back Bacary Sagna maintains while the veteran centre-half "deserves a good reception" from the Emirates Stadium crowd, the gloves will be off when the action starts.

"On the pitch there is a war, but off the pitch we are all friends," he said.

"I am not angry at him because he signed for our rivals. He was always very professional and he always gave everything.

"Football is football, I am not furious against him. William needed to leave to play football and that is what he loves."


From Belfast Telegraph