Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to be assessed before home match against Aston Villa

Both players are doubtful for the Gunners, who will definitely be without Laurent Koscielny, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky but they could welcome back Thomas Vermaelen
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that midfield duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri are both doubts for Sunday's match at home to Aston Villa.

Fabregas has a thigh injury whilst Nasri has damaged his hamstring and both will have late fitness tests before the match at the Emirates to see if they can play.

The injuries to two of the Gunners' star players comes at a bad time for Arsenal, who are fighting for second place in the Premier League, but at the same time are trying to secure third place from Manchester City in order to avoid a Champions League qualifier next season.

With a number of other injury concerns, Wenger is hopeful that both players can play some part in the match against a somewhat resurgent Villa side.

“We have question marks against Fabregas and Nasri. They will be late decisions," he told TV Online.

"During the week we lost Tomas Rosicky with a thigh strain. Diaby will be out but I believe that Clichy will be back.”

However, this weekend could see the return of Thomas Vermaelen who has missed virtually the entire season with a number of injury problems.

The Belgian has been limited to just three appearances for the Gunners in the league all season, as opposed to last season where he was one of Arsenal's best performers.

His comeback though, could come at the expense of the injured Laurent Koscielny.

Wenger added: “We have lost Laurent Koscielny with a thigh strain from Sunday against Stoke.
“It opens the door for Vermaelen.

“I have not completely decided yet but there is a probability he will start."

The Gunners boss has also spoken of his desire to leapfrog Chelsea before the end of the season.

He said: "It is not unrealistic [to finish second] when you are just three points behind.

"Manchester City can want third place because they are only two points behind, so it is open."

The erratic form of Arsenal this season has left many questioning whether Wenger will opt to invest heavily in new players over the summer, but the Frenchman feels that keeping hold of what the club already has should be imperative.

"We are looking to strengthen every year. First we look not to weaken because we want to keep all our players, and then try to strengthen," he said.

"It is not the number, it is the quality.

"But we don't rule out any position and we don't target any special position before the transfer market."

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