Arsenal star William Gallas facing fight to be fit for showdown with London rivals Chelsea

William Gallas

Struggling: William Gallas is helped from the pitch after a clash of heads with Andrey Arshavin on Tuesday night

William Gallas faces a battle to be fit for Arsenal's Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday, but Arsene Wenger is still holding out hope that he can play against his former club.

Gallas clashed heads with team-mate Andrey Arshavin during Tuesday’s Champions League victory over Standard Liege.

His eye remains so swollen that he cannot even put his contact lenses in, and the damage is causing concern at the Emirates.

'There’s a big question mark about him at the moment,' said Wenger. 'I cannot say Gallas will play, unfortunately. The ankle should be alright but the eye is still very, very, very swollen.

'He wears contact lenses and at the moment he would not get them in. We hope on Sunday it will be better. He is not comfortable but I am optimistic because we still have three days.

'It’s Thursday today and we play on Sunday afternoon so, we’re confident he can make it.'

If Gallas fails to recover for the match at Emirates Stadium then Mikael Silvestre should play in the centre of Arsenal's defence alongside Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

The main man: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

The Gunners have problems at left-back too with Armand Traore set for only his second Premier League start of the season.

The 24-year-old will play because Gael Clichy has a stress fracture of the back while Kieran Gibbs broke a metatarsal against Liege and will be out for three months.

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