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30.03.2010 16:42

60 per cent chance FÓbregas will not play


ArsŔne Wenger has revealed that he will wait until the day of the game before deciding whether Cesc FÓbregas can play against FC Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League tie.

The Gunners’ manager explained that the Catalan playmaker is battling to be fit, but that he will have to be patient to see if he can appear against his boyhood club. “The medical staff tell me there is still a chance he will be available, but that will be decided in the warm-up on the night. That tells you how late we will leave it. I would say it is 60 per cent against, 40 per cent for him playing,” Wenger said.

“We will give ourselves 24 hours more and we will assess the situation, but if the match were today, Cesc would not be able to play. If he is at full capacity on Wednesday, we will play him.” FÓbregas suffered the knee injury during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against Birmingham City on Saturday in the Premier League.


“If he is not capable to play I would not even put him on the [substitutes'] bench,” Wenger added. “We have a squad of 19 players so I have considered the possibility of leaving him out completely. We will give him 24 hours more, but I don't know if he will be available.”

Attractive fixture

wengerARSENAL2.jpgWenger is expecting an exciting tie and thinks that Arsenal should relish the challenge of taking on the Spanish, European and world champions. “We will not a see a boring game,” he commented. “I am very happy because I love football and above all, I love Arsenal. And for Arsenal to have this opportunity to do it tomorrow against Barcelona is fantastic.”

Go for it

The home side will not be intimidated by the prospect of playing one of the favourites to win the whole competition. "We must be brave and go for it,” Wenger added. “What you want from your team is not to worry too much about the strengths of Barcelona and focus on our strengths. “I do not deny their quality, but we are an exceptional team as well.” 

Images: www.arsenal.com
Images: www.arsenal.com
Henry praise
ArsŔne Wenger is ready to welcome Thierry Henry back to Arsenal, but will not be his friend during the game. “He is still a threat because he is an exceptional talent," he explained. “We are happy to see him back at the Emirates and he will get the warm welcome that he deserves. And when the game starts it will be a Quarter Final of the Champions League where we will of course give everything to beat him.”

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