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Around The Uk

Olympics2000

Friday, 25 August, 2000, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Arsenal v Charlton preview
Patrick Vieira
Vieira: Will definitely play against Charlton
Patrick Vieira will play for Arsenal against Charlton at Highbury despite red cards in the first two matches of the season.

The French midfielder will be banned for five matches after the London derby, but Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger denied that he will not be in the right frame of mind for the match.

"I always pick my best team and Patrick is in that," he said.

Swedish midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg is fit again after a leg injury but Ray Parlour is still out with a knee problem.

Veteran goalkeeper John Lukic, 39, could be on the bench for the Gunners as reserve keeper Alex Manninger damaged a knee in training and Stuart Taylor on loan at Crystal Palace.

Johansson Meanwhile, Charlton boss Alan Curbishley welcomes 3.75m summer signing Jonatan Johansson into his squad for the trip across London.

The Finnish international scored in a midweek reserve game against Southampton after overcoming a hamstring injury.

Clive Mendonca, Martin Pringle, Matt Svensson and Greg Shields are still on a lengthy Charlton injury list.

And Curbishley has tipped Arsenal to bounce back from their disciplinary problems and push Manchester United close for the championship.

He said: "Arsenal have had their problems and I'm sure Arsene Wenger is desperately trying to change that.

"I still think they're the team United have to beat. They've been there before.

"They've got the experience and the players and they've got the facility to bring more players in."

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See also:

25 Aug 00 |  Eng Prem
McAllister red card 'incorrect'
22 Aug 00 |  Arsenal
The trials of Patrick Vieira
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