Campbell set for reserve role as Arsenal try to prolong title race

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The Independent Football

Sol Campbell may have to watch from the substitutes' bench as Arsenal try to prolong the title race by beating his old club, Tottenham Hotspur, at Highbury tonight.

Sol Campbell may have to watch from the substitutes' bench as Arsenal try to prolong the title race by beating his old club, Tottenham Hotspur, at Highbury tonight.

Arsène Wenger looks set on keeping faith with Philippe Senderos and Kolo Touré in the heart of the back four in a match that the Gunners must win or their title will head to Chelsea.

Arsenal's superb recent defensive record means Wenger has so far been able to delay Campbell's return from an ankle injury until he is completely ready. Thierry Henry, who has a groin injury, and Freddie Ljungberg, with a hip problem, are definitely missing, while Mathieu Flamini, Gaël Clichy and Manuel Almunia are also still injured.

Frédéric Kanouté could win a recall for Tottenham Hotspur. He is struggling with a neck injury and missed Wednesday's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich but, if fit, will challenge Robbie Keane for a starting place. Mido is also in contention as he recovers from a stomach muscle injury.

The centre-half Noureddine Naybet (hamstring) is not expected to play again this season while Michael Dawson is likely to retain his place, despite suffering from cuts and bruises.

Anthony Gardner (foot) and Pedro Mendes (broken toe) are still out, while the midfielder Michael Brown (foot) will have his fitness reassessed today.

Wenger has revealed that he rejected the chance to sign Paul Robinson before he joined Tottenham because as he did not believe the goalkeeper was the finished article.

However, Wenger now accepts that Robinson has improved significantly since arriving at White Hart Lane from Leeds last summer.

"He has improved a lot. He looks much more mature, much more settled and much more dominating in the way he reads the game. I've been impressed by him recently," he said. "I don't think he was ready [then] but the fact that he got into the England national team speeded up the way he matured. At the moment, he looks a very good keeper."

Wenger refused to consider whether he had any regrets, though. "I could have so many regrets, because I missed so many players in my career that you always think, 'What a team I could have'," he said. "I could have had lots of players but it's part of the job and you must always focus on what is in front."

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