Henry injury puts Wenger's Euro dream in jeopardy

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The Independent Football

Arsenal face an agonising wait to find out if Thierry Henry will be fit in time for their crucial final Champions' League group game at home to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Henry missed his first Premiership game of the season on Saturday when Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw away to Leicester City and his absence was obvious as Arsenal failed to kill off the game.

The post-match agenda was dominated by Leicester's late equaliser andAshley Cole's dismissal, but the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger's main worry over the next few days is Henry's fitness.

If Arsenal beat Lokomotiv on Wednesday they will qualify for the knock-out stages and top the group, and would therefore avoid one of the bigger clubs, such as Real Madrid, in the last 16. If they draw, however, their fate will depend on Internazionale's result against Dynamo Kiev, while defeat would spell automatic elimination from the competition.

Arsenal were, however, boosted by Henry pledging his future to the club despite reported interest from Real Madrid. "I have heard the rumours linking me with Real Madrid but I take no notice," Henry said. "Winning the Champions' League for the first time with the Gunners would mean making history."

That prospect, however, depends on getting past Lokomotiv and Henry is rated as having only a "50-50" chance of starting the game because of a muscle injury associated with his knee.

"It has come on slowly," Wenger said. "There was a bit against Inter, but it's become worse with every game since then and then he had real pain last Friday and we decided to rest him at Leicester.

"Ideally, you want him there but the most important thing is that the players who are there are fit. I only play players who are 100 per cent. If they are not, I don't play them, no matter how big the game is."

Wenger, who will have the midfielder Patrick Vieira back at Highbury after he was rested against Leicester, nevertheless realises his team will have to battle to break down a determined Lokomotiv side, who only have to draw to confirm their own qualification.

"For them, a draw is good enough. For us, a win is absolutely necessary so you can predict the kind of game we will get, with them being very cautious and we have to dictate the game and score goals," he said.

The Inter midfielder Cristiano Zanetti has been ruled out of Wednesday's tie in Kiev after picking up a thigh injury.