Arsenal will play Birmingham on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in their FA Carling Cup (League Cup) Final without Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott after both players failed to recover from injuries which arose in their mid-week clash with Stoke City, which Arsenal won 1-0.
Fabregas has a hamstring injury, the same injury which has resurfaced a number of times in the past seasons, and the Gunners’ captain will be a big miss for the London club.
The absence of Fabregas means that Dutch forward, Robin van Persie will captain Arsenal in the Final.
Speaking on Fabregas’s failure to recover fitness in time for the final, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger said “We all feel sorry and sad for him. The only way we help him now is to win the Carling Cup as he contributed a lot in this competition.”
Walcott suffered an ankle injury in the match with Stoke, from which he will not recover in time for the Sunday, meaning that Arsenal are to be without two of their brightest players.
Speaking on Thursday, Wenger told how Walcott may well miss all of the next fortnight, or longer, including the vital second leg Last 16 UEFA Champions League match with Barcelona:
“Walcott will be out for two to three weeks with an ankle problem. I would say today it is very unlikely he will be fit for the second leg of the Barcelona game.”
Regardless of the injuries, Arsenal remain favourites to win the first English trophy of the 2010/11 season in Sunday’s League Cup Final against Birmingham, which will kick-off at 16:00 GMT on Sunday 28th February at Wembley Stadium, London.