Updated: Should William Gallas return to the Arsenal team this afternoon?

1pm: So Arsene made the right decision - leaving the centre-back partnership as it was with Toure partnering Djourou with Gallas on the bench. Song an Bendtner are in with Fabianski in goal and Gibbs at left back.

Much of Arsène Wenger’s chat at Friday’s press conference was about the friction between William Gallas and Kolo Toure which has dragged on for much of the season.

I know from dealings with professional footballers over the years that there are plenty of cliques, rivalries and downright dislikes that go on at clubs – even if from the outside it doesn’t often seem like that.

There’s no doubt that neither player had a fantastic 2008.

Toure - should start with Djourou againt CardiffGallas had that infamous sit-in at Birmingham just under a year ago and after criticising his team-mates, had to be relieved of the captaincy.

His performances have flitted from sublime to indifferent but his reputation as a defender isn’t built on hearsay alone.

On a number of occasions this season, he’s stepped up and scored vital goals that have got Arsenal out of trouble when we needed them most.

Toure hasn’t been the same player since the African Nations’ Cup but he has started to get back to his old form and despite his occasional slips, he remains an Invincible.

He’s the longest-serving member of the first-team, has a host of medals and still had a fair few years at his peak – and he deserves the captaincy in Cesc Fabregas’s absence.

The fact that his transfer request was turned down recently underlines how highly Wenger rates him – but question marks still remain about his long term future.

From an age, loyalty and sanity point of view, I’d have Toure in my side every time over Gallas, but with Wenger suggesting the pair cannot play together, I fear he may well bring Gallas back this afternoon.

Hopefully, Wenger realises that Johann Djourou must be a shoe-in because of his height and ever-improving form. He is still young, still raw, but he could well be a Gunners stalwart for years to come.

Of course, with Cesc out, dropping captain Toure will be an interesting conundrum for Wenger – or does he drop Djourou despite his form and potential?

We’ll know more at about 1pm, but if Wenger is brave, Gallas will watch this one from the sidelines.