Walcott could face City

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger expects to have Theo Walcott back from his knee injury for the club's Champions League challenge after the international break.

Walcott was sidelined last week when his right knee locked as he left the training pitch - but scans revealed the problem was not as serious as first feared.

"The scan (on Friday) was reassuring," Wenger said. "We will have another scan to see if that is confirmed. We were a little bit worried about cartilage or even the cruciate but there was none of that."

The 20-year-old, who has withdrawn from England Under-21 duty, will need to be assessed again, with Wenger predicting at the weekend that the winger would be back in "10 or 12 days".

That would put the former Southampton player in the frame of the Barclays Premier League clash against Manchester City on April 4, or the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Villarreal three days later.

Wenger is clinging to the slim chance of Arsenal closing the 10-point gap on leaders Manchester United, with Liverpool and Chelsea also ahead of them in the table.

"They are all a target," the Frenchman said. "They are targets in a sense that you want to get as close as possible. Even if the chance is one in a billion you want to absolutely go mad and give everything to do it.

"We have seen worse. The best way to achieve that is to keep the spirit and desire in the team - then you never know."

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia believes Arsenal are relishing their role as the forgotten team in the title race.

The Spaniard told Arsenal TV Online: "Now is our moment because no-one is talking about us and we are coming back. The fans have to be optimistic. We keep going, we have time to do important things but now the most important thing is to win against Manchester City."

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Manchester City
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
Manchester United
Theo Walcott

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