Football: Wright set to miss FA Cup semi-final

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The Independent Online
ARSENAL are facing a striking problem in their quest for the Double as Ian Wright may be joining Dennis Bergkamp in the stands not only for tonight's trip to Bolton but also for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final.

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, had hoped that, with Bergkamp beginning a three-match suspension, Wright would play in the reserves tonight and then be fit for the match against Wolves at Villa Park.

However, the striker's groin injury is proving hard to heal and he is only given a 10 per cent chance of playing on Sunday. However, Arsenal will have Emmanuel Petit and possibly Steve Bould back from injury for tonight's match.

Arsenal's opponents at the Reebok Stadium will also have to make a choice between strikers, but for a different reason and Bolton's record signing, Dean Holdsworth, looks to be the one who will lose out. Holdsworth was substituted during Saturday's 2-0 win over Leicester and, if top scorer Nathan Blake passes a fitness test, he will be preferred alongside on- loan Bob Taylor.

Barnsley have appealed to their fans for good behaviour during tonight's game at Blackburn following Saturday's pitch invasion during the defeat by Liverpool. The club said yesterday that those arrested for invading the pitch after referee Gary Willard had sent off two Barnsley players have been banned from Oakwell indefinitely.

Middlesbrough's Craig Hignett may leave the Riverside unless he receives more money. Hignett's contract expires in June and, although he said he does not want to leave the club, he feels he deserves a better offer. He also said yesterday that the actions of Paul Gascoigne - who kept him out of Sunday's Coca-Cola Cup final team - in giving him his loser's medal was "one of the most unselfish acts I have come across in football".

Southampton's Carlton Palmer has lost his appeal against a one-match ban for misconduct after the FA Cup defeat at Derby, while Chelsea's plea for European justice for Gianfranco Zola has been rejected by Uefa, the governing body of European football, who said yesterday that his controversial yellow card in the quarter-final of the European Cup-Winners' Cup against Real Betis will not be rescinded.

Attilio Lombardo has ordered his Crystal Palace players into a strict boot camp in Italy. The Premiership's bottom club leave today for three days intensive work at a special camp at Desenzano, in northern Italy.

Dane Whitehouse, the Sheffield United midfielder, has apologised to Port Vale after his father boarded their team coach following Saturday's match in an apparent attempt to confront Gareth Ainsworth. Whitehouse said his father was "emotional" about a serious injury he suffered in a tackle by Ainsworth in November.

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