Wenger faces anxious wait on Fabregas ahead of showdown with Porto

08 March 2010 10:56
Vital to the team: Cesc Fabregas celebrates his goal against Burnley

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger must decide whether to gamble on Cesc Fabregas's fitness against Porto on Tuesday night after his skipper suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury in Saturday's victory over Burnley.

Fabregas was withdrawn as a precaution in the 39th minute of the 3-1 win having handed his side the lead with a close range finish for his 14th goal of the season.

And Wenger now faces a tough choice whether to risk losing his inspirational skipper for a chunk of the title run-in by playing him in the Champions League as Arsenal look to bounce back from a 2-1 first-leg defeat in Portugal.

'It depends how big the gamble is,' said Wenger. 'He felt a tight hamstring but it had not gone. I'm ready to take the gamble. But if it is more than 50 per cent chance his hamstring goes I will not take it.'

Fabregas was already feeling the injury before converting Samir Nasri's chipped pass and his commitment to the cause echoed that of his cameo against Aston Villa in December where he came off the bench to score twice before being withdrawn with the same injury.

He shoot, he scores.Cesc Fabregas nets as many as he sets up

'Knowing that his hamstring was tight I'm convinced he had put inhis mind we have to score a goal and then I go off', said Wenger ofFabregas' goal against Burnley. 'He's a fantastic player, withfantastic attitude and commitment. 

'And what people forget an unbelievable work rate too. You look atthe numbers of Fabregas, amazing, 14 goals and 13 assists. He iseverywhere and this season he has made a massive step forward.'

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Source: Daily_Mail