Arsene Wenger will sit out a further two European games after extra ban

Van Persie, Song and Gervinho are all back for the Champions League qualifier second-leg against Udinese.

Arsenal will fight Arsene Wenger's latest touchline ban imposed by Uefa - which would see the Gunners manager forced to watch tomorrow night's crunch Champions League play-off second leg away at Udinese from the stands.

Wenger was found guilty of failing to abide by Uefa rules surrounding his original ban - imposed after last season's last-16 defeat to Barcelona when he had criticised the referee - after he passed messages to the coaching staff at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of the Udinese tie, before being warned by match delegates at half-time not to continue.

Arsenal, though, maintain officials from Europe's governing body had told them in the build-up to the game that Wenger would be permitted to relay instructions to Pat Rice, the assistant manager, through Boro Primorac, the first-team coach who was in telephone contact with the Arsenal bench.

Uefa have banned Wenger from the touchline for two European games and also fined Arsenal €10,000 (Dh53,000) for the improper conduct of their officials during the match. It remains to be seen whether Arsenal's appeal will be processed in time for a decision ahead of tonight's tie, which the Gunners lead 1-0.

The news is the latest blow to the Gunners who are going through one of the toughest spells of Wenger's tenure.

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 at home by Liverpool on Saturday, when they were without Alex Song and Gervinho, both serving suspensions in the fallout from the ill-tempered draw at Newcastle United.

However, the duo will be available for the European tie, along with Robin van Persie, who was banned for the first leg.

Should Wenger again select contract rebel Samir Nasri, it would cup-tie the France midfielder and prevent him for playing with another team in the competition, as talk of a switch to Manchester City continues.

Jack Wilshere, the England midfielder, could return from his ankle problem, while Johan Djourou's recovery from a hamstring complaint could offset the loss of Laurent Koscielny, who hobbled off on Saturday following a back spasm.

Published: August 23, 2011 04:00 AM

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