Walcott and Fabregas could be fit for Manchester City clash

Arsenal are set to be boosted by the return of fit-again captain Cesc Fabregas after the international break, while England forward Theo Walcott may also be available for the crunch trip to Manchester City in two weeks' time.

Fabregas has not featured since injuring a hamstring when scoring a bizarre goal at Sunderland on September 18, while Walcott's fine early season form was halted by a badly sprained ankle during England's Euro 2012 qualifier win in Switzerland at the start of September.

However, Spain midfielder Fabregas has now declared himself fit, although he will not be involved in Spain's games against Lithuania or Scotland.

Walcott is making good progress but will not rush his recovery, with the trip to Eastlands on October 24 perhaps a more realistic target than when Birmingham visit Emirates Stadium in the first match following the internationals.

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is also expected to have recovered from the elbow injury which forced him out of the Gunners' last two matches, allowing understudy Lukasz Fabianski to impress in the 3-1 away Champions League victory over Partizan Belgrade.

Denmark forward Nicklas Bendtner has not played at all this season because of a niggling groin problem after the World Cup.

The 22-year-old, though, hopes to be back in contention by the end of the month and in the "best shape ever".

Bendtner said: "Now I am ready [to train]. Some of the boys have time off because of their internationals, but otherwise I train together with the other first-team players at Arsenal and I have enjoyed myself so much.

"I have no pain in the groin and have trained so hard physically that maybe I am in my best shape ever.

"I need only a couple of reserve team matches to be quite sharp in football terms. It is my hope that I can be with the first team in 14 days."

Full-back Kieran Gibbs (calf) is also set to return after missing the England Under-21s European Championship play-off against Romania, but manager Arsene Wenger admits Thomas Vermaelen's Achilles injury suffered on the last international break is proving slow to heal.

Holland striker Robin van Persie is expected to be available again by the start of November following an ankle injury, while Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey should also be back well ahead of the Christmas programme nine months after breaking his leg against Stoke.

With Arsenal's forward line hit by injury, Marouane Chamakh has been handed an extended run in the side.

The Morocco striker has settled quickly following a free-transfer summer move from Bordeaux, scoring four goals so far.

But the 26-year-old feels there is more to come.

He told Sky Sports: "I am extremely happy with my choice and I am surprised how well it has started for me.

"I have settled very well on and off the pitch and I have been made very welcome by everyone at the club.

"I have a margin of progress to make and I think Arsene can make me a better player,

"I feel my game is well suited to English football and all I want to do is help Arsenal.

"English football is much more athletic and goes much quicker and the supporters are very impressive."

Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home