Van Persie fit for Blackburn clash

LONDON - Brief news ahead of this weekend's Premier League matches.

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie is likely to feature against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday after passing a fitness test on the knee he injured playing for Netherlands.

"He's alright. He will be in the squad," manager Arsene Wenger told reporters after Van Persie suffered the injury in the 5-3 win over Hungary in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

"It was a kick on his knee but he had a test this morning and felt alright," added Wenger. "If he has no reaction overnight he should be OK."

Captain Cesc Fabregas, forwards Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott plus midfielders Abou Diaby and Alexandre Song are also available after injury but Aaron Ramsey has a groin problem.

Manchester United have also received a boost with the news that central defender Nemanja Vidic will play against West Ham United on Saturday.

Vidic was injured in last month's FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal and missed United's Champions League win over Olympique Marseille and Premier League victory against Bolton Wanderers.

His defensive partner Rio Ferdinand is back in training but will not be available and neither will fellow defenders Rafael, Wes Brown and John O'Shea.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale (hamstring) and central defender William Gallas (knee) are out of the trip to Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Sebastien Bassong will come into the centre of defence alongside captain Michael Dawson while Steven Pienaar and Niko Kranjcar are vying to take over from Bale on the left.

Aaron Lennon is available after withdrawing from the England squad last week with a slight hamstring problem.

Chelsea's only concerns ahead of the visit to Stoke City on Saturday are minor knocks to strikers Fernando Torres and Salomon Kalou suffered during the international break.

Spain's Torres and Ivory Coast's Kalou have only done light training over the past two days and might be left on the bench.

Alex and Yossi Benayoun, who played for Israel on Tuesday, might be considered for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final at Manchester United.

Benayoun came on for 20 minutes after being sidelined for six months with an Achilles problem that required surgery.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will return to the squad for Sunday's home match against Sunderland after being dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Defender Pablo Zabaleta should be back after compassionate leave but Micah Richards and Jerome Boateng are out after being injured with the England under-21s and Germany respectively.