Fabregas hopeful he will face United
Arsenal optimistic captain will be play at Old Trafford as Uefa turn up heat on Eduardo
Cesc Fabregas will undergo tests today on his hamstring to decide whether he is fit to face Manchester United tomorrow. The Arsenal midfielder's leg is still sore but the club are hopeful that he might yet come through as they face a series of injury worries in their midfield.
The club are still concerned about whether Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby will be fit to face the champions, the former picked up an injury against Celtic on Wednesday night. Fabregas' hamstring is understood to be less serious than first thought, and the club will leave it to the last minute to decide whether or not he is fit to play.
Wenger said yesterday: "He had a training session today that was quite positive. He will have a definite test [today] where we will decide if we include him in the squad or not. I would say it is a real 50:50. [On Wednesday] I would say it was 60:40 against but he looked positive."
That the Arsenal captain was named in the Spain squad yesterday for the World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Estonia over the next two weeks demonstrates that he is not too far from match fitness. He picked up the injury on Saturday against Portsmouth.
The fall-out from Eduardo da Silva's blatant dive to win a penalty against Celtic continued yesterday with Uefa admitting that the player could yet face sanctions. The European governing body said that they were looking at video evidence of the incident. The Uefa president Michel Platini added that they were determined to root out cheats.
"There are disciplinary procedures at Uefa and the procedure could be taken to suspend the player. Scotland often start such procedures – last time it was a Lithuania player [Saulius Mikoliunas] who was sanctioned [on the basis of video evidence in a game at Hampden Park]."
Platini said that Uefa wanted to introduce more referees to stamp out diving, a project that will be tested in the Europa League with two officials three metres behind the goal. "One day players will give up simulating because referees will see them," he said. "For years players have cheated because the referees were not of a good enough quality. I am convinced if you have referees close by that will prevent players from simulating. I have always said better to have more referees than a multiplication of disciplinary procedures."
Having been on the brink of a move away from Arsenal all summer, Emmanuel Eboué said that he would not be leaving the club and would like to sign a new contract. Booed by his own fans at the Emirates during a win over Wigan Athletic in December, and subsequently reduced to tears, Eboué said he had now resolved his differences with the club's support.
He looked likely to leave for Italy's third Champions League side, Fiorentina, but Eboué said he would be staying at Arsenal yesterday after scoring the second goal against Celtic in Arsenal's 3-1 win. "I'll wait [for a new contract] but if they want me to sign I will sign because I love this club and have to do my best for this team," Eboué said. Eboué, who has two years left on his current deal, denied that throwing his shirt to the fans in the last pre-season game was a sign he was off. "It [the booing] just happens sometimes in football," he said. "I'm very happy with the fans because they sing my name and make me happy when I play. I say thank you to the fans."
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