Walcott and Bendtner return for Arsenal

Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner are back in Arsenal's squad for Sunday's clash against Blackburn but Eduardo has been ruled out with a thigh injury.

England winger Walcott returned from a side strain, while Bendtner is fit following a car crash earlier in the week.

"Unfortunately we lost Eduardo after he came on [against Olympiacos]," said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Arsenal TV Online.

"It was a gamble to play him and unfortunately his muscle injury got worse. He will be out. It is the same thigh muscle and has recurred a few times now. But Walcott and Bendtner are available."

Manuel Almunia has been missing with a chest infection since the defeat at Manchester City on September 12 and may not be ready to return.

"Manuel Almunia is not far," said Wenger. "I will assess him Friday or Saturday but he looks unlikely to be ready."

Meanwhile, Walcott insists his belief in ending the club's trophy drought led him to signing a new contract.

Walcott agreed new terms towards the end of last season and is determined to win his first silverware since arriving from Southampton in 2006, the season after Arsenal lifted their last cup.

Walcott said: "I signed because I have got a lot of belief in the club and in the team.

"We have gained a lot of experience over the last few years and although we haven't won any trophies, I think that will change this year.

"If you want to win trophies, it is important to keep the group together - Manchester United are a good example of that.

"This summer, Robin (Van Persie), Nicklas, Kieran [Gibbs] and a few others signed new contracts and I firmly believe we can win things here. We've also added to the squad with Thomas Vermaelen and for me he is a top lad - he's our top scorer too.

"He has settled in really well and he's such a nice guy. I have trained with him a few times now and he's a very tough competitor.

"He has got an absolutely great leap on him too - he will win a header against anyone. I reckon he would beat Peter Crouch in the air."

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'