Football in Brief: Gunners launch appeal over 'harsh' dismissal of defender Vermaelen

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Arsenal are to appeal against the red card awarded to defender Thomas Vermaelen's during Saturday's victory against West Ham.

The Belgium international was dismissed after appearing to make minimal contact with West Ham forward Guillermo Franco just before the interval, with manager Arsène Wenger labelling the sending off "very harsh" and confronting referee Martin Atkinson as the teams left the field. Hammers' striker Alessandro Diamanti's resulting penalty was saved by Manuel Almunia as the hosts won 2-0. The appeal will be heard before a regulatory commission today, and if successful, Vermaelen will be available for Saturday's trip to Birmingham.

Troubled Pompey could face fine of up to £1m for breaking rules

Portsmouth could be fined up to £1m by the Premier League over the breaching of rules and regulations. The action relates to late payment of wages and transfer fees and the money would be taken from their share of television revenue. Meanwhile, Derby have enquired over the possibility of re-signing striker Tommy Smith on loan until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old striker has struggled to feature for the Fratton Park side, playing three times since December, although he did score in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Hull City. "It's a difficult situation down there," said Derby manager Nigel Clough, "but we are very keen to keep pursuing it."

Blow for Rossoneri as Brazilian Pato suffers new hamstring injury

Milan striker Alexandre Pato could be set for a further spell on the sidelines after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Napoli. The Brazilian limped off after 14 minutes, after just returning from three weeks out with a similar injury, and will undergo further check-ups in the coming days.

"Medical examinations highlighted a rupture to the right femoral bicep of the tendon juncture," a club statement said. In his previous period on the sidelines Milan managed only one goal in three games without him, and the Italian side were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-sixteen stage by Manchester United in his absence.

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