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The French defender has recovered from a hamstring injury and is expected to replace Carl Jenkinson at right-back for Saturday's fixture at the Etihad Stadium

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Bacary Sagna has been passed fit for Arsenal's crunch clash against Manchester City on Saturday, Goal can reveal.

Sources say the defender has made a remarkable recovery from the hamstring injury that has kept him out of the Gunners' last three matches.

Sagna will be part of the Arsenal squad that travels by train from Watford on Friday afternoon and is expected to start the top-of-the-table showdown at the Etihad Stadium.

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Goal revealed on Tuesday that Sagna had been ruled out of the midweek trip to Napoli the following day, and he was also expected to play no part in the follow-up domestic engagement, which kicks off at Saturday lunchtime.

Speaking at his Friday media briefing, Arsene Wenger said: "The main doubt we have is about Sagna, who will have a test [on Friday] and after that I will make the decision about whether I take him with us or not."

Even before training on Friday morning, the Frenchman is believed to have been rated at 30/70 to be involved at City.

However, Sagna has now come through the fitness test at the training ground after being pushed hard by Arsenal staff to return.

Manager Wenger regards Sagna's involvement as crucial for Arsenal's hopes at City, who have comfortably swatted aside most teams to visit their Etihad fortress this season.

He is now expected to be a like-for-like replacement for Carl Jenkinson, who stood in for his more experienced colleague against Hull City, Everton and Napoli.

Sagna has been a key figure in an Arsenal defence that has looked more solid this season than at any point in the eight years since the club last won a trophy.

In the final year of a contract that is due to expire next summer, the 30-year-old has made 19 appearances, starting all seven of the club's Champions League matches and 11 out of 15 Premier League games.

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