Wenger keen to give Eboué chance of redemption
Wednesday 10 December 2008
Arsenal need only a draw in their Champions League tie in Porto tonight to secure a top-place finish in Group G and a successful trip to Portugal could also provide a tonic for their beleaguered midfielder Emmanuel Eboué.
The Ivory Coast international came on as a substitute in Arsenal's 1-0 Premier League win over Wigan Athletic at the weekend but coach Arsène Wenger withdrew him after he was loudly booed by home fans following a string of errors.
Despite Eboué's rattled confidence Wenger has indicated the midfielder will be in the squad for the Porto match as Samir Nasri's ankle injury is likely to keep the Frenchman out. England winger Theo Walcott is also sidelined for Arsenal. Wenger's midfield problems could be eased, however, by the potential return of William Gallas from a calf injury and Abou Diaby (stomach muscle) who are close to full fitness.
Arsenal hammered Porto 4-0 in London but the Wigan victory, courtesy of Emmanuel Adebayor's 10th goal of the season, was their first clean sheet in seven league games.
Porto, who are also through to the last 16 and can secure top spot if they beat Arsenal, are without Romanian right-back Cristian Sapunaru who has a muscle strain but Portugal international Raul Meireles is back in contention for a defensive midfield position. Playmaker Lucho Gonzalez also returns after a one-match suspension.
"We always play to get first place, but for this game the context is different because we're already through," Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira said. "Our main aim is to play well, to put on a good show.
"There will be no vendetta against Arsenal [for the 4-0 loss]. Porto will be just playing with great responsibility," Ferreira said. "The game will just be to decide who is first or second, nothing else. Both teams will come here relaxed because they are already qualified, and so it should be a great game to watch. It is in our philosophy to win every game and we will play to do that."
Arsenal (possible) 4-4-2: Almunia; Gibbs, Silvestre, Gallas, Djourou; Diaby, Denilson, Song, Eboué; Vela, Bendtner.
Referee: K Vassaras (Greece).
Results: Dynamo Kiev 1 Arsenal 1; Porto 3 Fenerbahce 1; Arsenal 4 Porto 0; Fenerbahce 0 Dynamo Kiev 0; Fenerbahce 2 Arsenal 5; Porto 0 Dynamo Kiev 1; Arsenal 0 Fenerbahce 0; Dynamo Kiev 1 Porto 2; Arsenal 1 Dynamo Kiev 0; Fenerbahce 1 Porto 2.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
Chelsea's best XI of the season so far: Petr Cech has been better than Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's Jesus Navas are the three best attacking midfielders in Europe in 2015
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers