Wenger faces wait over Wilshere's derby fitness

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The Independent Football

Jack Wilshere faces a fitness test today to judge his availability for tomorrow's north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium.

Wilshere had been expected to make his first senior international start at Wembley on Wednesday against France, but he missed the 2-1 defeat with a back injury. Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, confirmed yesterday that the 18-year-old will undergo tests before a decision is reached on his participation in the derby.

"Jack has a little strain of a little muscle in the back and is not in full training at the moment," Wenger said. "We will know more on Friday about whether he is available for Saturday."

Wilshere has made 16 appearances for Arsenal so far this season, all but two from the start. Had he played at Wembley, he would have been the fifth Arsenal player on the pitch, along with Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri and Bacary Sagna.

Sagna has warned of the "danger" of Gareth Bale, his direct opponent on Saturday. "He's doing very well at the moment but don't put pressure on him too early," Sagna said. "He will learn a lot, he's only 21 so he will improve a lot in the next few years. But, at the moment, he's one of the most dangerous wingers."

The right-back went on to say that Arsenal fans should not boo the former Gunner William Gallas, who left for Tottenham in the summer. "He deserves a good reception because during the time he played for Arsenal he always did well. Football is football. I'm not furious."