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Rediff.com  » Sports » Henry returns to lift struggling Arsenal

Henry returns to lift struggling Arsenal

October 17, 2005 20:15 IST

Striker Thierry Henry has been named in Arsenal's squad to face Sparta Prague in the Champions League on Tuesday after more than a month out through injury.

The return of Henry, who has not played since injuring his groin in France's World Cup qualifying win over Ireland on September 7, will provide a major boost to a struggling side.

"I don't think I will start him but if the game allows I will give him part of it," manager Arsene Wenger told the club's website on Monday.

"Physically he is fit and he has worked hard, but he might be rusty in the decision-making part of the game.

"Ideally I'd like to play him for 30 minutes and then play him against Manchester City [on Saturday].

"The only negative part is that he is not training if he's with us, but the European game can give him more than he would get in training."

Arsenal have lost two and drawn one of their five Premier League games since the influential Frenchman and club captain was sidelined, including Saturday's 2-1 loss to lowly West Bromwich Albion.

However, they have won both their Group B games in Europe against Swiss outsiders Thun and Ajax Amsterdam. Another victory on Tuesday would make them clear favourites to qualify for the Champions League knockout phase.

They will have to do so without several regulars after injury ruled out defenders Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole, along with midfielders Fredrik Ljungberg and Alexander Hleb.

Dutch playmaker Dennis Bergkamp, who has a fear of flying, has not travelled.

On the plus side, Dutch forward Robin van Persie and German keeper Jens Lehmann return from suspension in Europe, while Brazilian midfielder Gilberto is back after missing Saturday's game following international duty.

 

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