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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gunners struggling for Ukraine trip

Arsenal have been dealt a blow ahead of their tricky Champions League mission in the Ukraine as they have to embark on the game without their captain.

Cesc Fabregas has struggled with injuries all season, and a new hamstring problem means the Spanish playmaker will not be able to take part as the Gunners take on Ukrainian champions Shaktar Donetsk on Wednesday night.

Arsenal are currently the only team in Group H with a 100 per cent record and top the table. However, they are guaranteed a tough game at the Donbass Arena as Shaktar will look to seek revenge on their home turf after being thrashed 5-1 at the Emirates last time out in the Champions League. The Champions League promotions reflect this.

The prospects of the North London side look bleak without Fabregas, who Arsene Wenger said he "cannot take a gamble on", but it is worsened by the fact there are worries about three other midfielders.

Alex Song, Andrey Arshavin and Denilson all struggling and Wenger could be struggling in midfield as he stated all three need to be "assessed later".
"Alex Song has a problem with his calf which we will assess today, he has a chance not to travel," Wenger added.

"Arshavin has a problem and we might leave him at home and Denilson has a groin problem."

Despite the problems, the Champions League best odds still show the side have an excellent chance of progessing.

The other game in Group H sees Partizan Belgrade face Braga and the latter will be hoping to get a result as they could pull level in second place with Shaktar if Arsenal do them a favour, meaning they will have a great shot at getting into the Champions League knockout stages.

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