• Champions League

Wenger confirms Fabregas will miss Porto clash

ESPN staff
March 8, 2010
Arsenal will be without skipper Cesc Fabregas as they seek to overturn a one-goal deficit © Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out of Arsenal's Champions League last-16 tie against Porto on Tuesday night after failing to train due to a hamstring injury.

Fabregas suffered the injury in Saturday's 3-1 defeat of Burnley and was substituted in the first half at Emirates Stadium, soon after scoring his 17th goal in all competitions this season for Arsenal.

The Gunners lost Fabregas to a hamstring injury between December 27 and January 17 after he aggravated a previous problem in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa and Wenger has decided against taking a further risk with the Spaniard.

Arsenal are trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Portugal and Wenger said at the weekend he would consider playing Fabregas despite his injury concern. However, having failed to train the captain will not be available.

"I'm ready to take the gamble," Wenger said prior to news of his captain's absence. "But it depends how big the gamble is. If it is more than a 50% chance his hamstring goes [on the night] then I will not take it.

"You look at the numbers of Fabregas this season and it is amazing - 14 goals, 15 assists. He's a fantastic player, with fantastic attitude and commitment. And what people forget an unbelievable work-rate too.

"He is everywhere and this season he has made a big step forward, massive. It was interesting to see that although he has already played at 16 but, at 22, he has still matured."

Arsenal will have Alex Song at their disposal as his suspension is limited to domestic football, with Denilson and Abou Diaby likely to accompany him in midfield.

Sol Campbell has trained despite missing Saturday's game due to a groin problem and the defender, who scored Arsenal's goal in the first leg, could replace Mikael Silvestre.

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