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
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre