Arsenal's Arsene Wenger to give players a breather against Portsmouth

01 May 2009 09:40
However his plans have been affected by the unavailability through injury of Eduardo, Gael Clichy, Robin van Persie and Mikael Silvestre following the 1-0 first leg defeat at Old Trafford.

Wenger will at least have Andrei Arshavin available after the Russian was ineligible for European competition as Arsenal look to extend an unbeaten league run of 20 matches.

 Related ArticlesFabregas: Don't single me out for punishmentArsenal target Santa CruzChelsea brush off Barca barbsMan United 1 Arsenal 0Hands up if you have O'Shea on your shirtBarcelona academy sets the standard"I want to give some players a breather who need one, but as well it is very important for us to get closer to Chelsea and I do not want to give any hope to [Aston] Villa either," said Wenger.

"We want to keep our run going and win the game. For the weekend we have lost Eduardo. He has done his groin again unfortunately. Rio Ferdinand fell on him when he had that accident.

"His knee went on his groin and that detached some fibres. Silvestre has a groin injury as well.

"We have not scanned them yet, so we don't know about Tuesday, but they both miss Saturday for sure.

"Robin van Persie is out for the weekend and we will only know very, very late if he could be available for Tuesday or not. We may not know till Tuesday. Gael Clichy is definitely out."

Former Manchester United defender Silvestre added: "We could have conceded more goals, but to go away from Old Trafford just 1-0 down is not a bad result. It gives us more hope to qualify.

"We have to look at it in a positive way. At 1-0 we can turn the situation around and that is what we expect to do next week."


Source: Telegraph

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