Arsenal v QPR: Match Preview

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Arsenal v QPR

Barclays Premier League; Emirates Stadium; Saturday, 31st December; 15:00 KO.

Team News

Arsene Wenger could rest striker Robin Van Persie, with Marouane Chamakh a possible replacement ahead of his trip to the African Cup of Nations next month.

Theo Walcott has recovered from an illness which kept him out of the Wolves clash on Tuesday, whilst Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs remain long-term absentees.

Shaun Wright-Phillips has recovered from injury and is in contention for the Hoops, whilst Adel Taarabt could start again after impressing against Swansea on Boxing Day.

Walcott relishing Traore test

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is looking forward to testing himself against former teammate Armand Traore when the pair go head-to-head on Saturday.

The Senegalese international moved to west London in the summer transfer window, playing his last game for the Gunners in the infamous 8-2 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford at the start of the current campaign.

But fortunes have been much more favourable under Neil Warnock for Traore, and the England international knows his old teammate will be more than up for the challenge when they meet at the Emirates Stadium.

"Armand has absolutely everything [to succeed] - he is a very good professional," Walcott told Arsenal TV online.

"Maybe Neil Warnock will be good for him and make him switch on even more. Armand is tremendous going forward, defensively strong. He has all the attributes. Hopefully he will be at it, and it’ll be a nice test for me.

"If he was still here he might have had his chance because we haven’t had a left back for a while now, though obviously Thomas Vermaelen is playing there now. You have to be patient being third choice, but he’s playing now and I am sure he’s happy."

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