Football

Fabregas determined to make final

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Cesc Fabregas insists he will do everything in his power to make sure that he leads Arsenal out in the Carling Cup final this weekend despite picking up a hamstring injury in the Gunners' 1-0 win over Stoke on Wednesday night.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger ruled Theo Walcott out of Sunday's Wembley showdown with Birmingham after he sprained his ankle against the Potters but Fabregas, who picked up a hamstring injury, will be assessed by the club's medical staff to see if he will be fit for the clash he so desperately wants to be a part of.

Fabregas said on Twitter: "I dont know if I'll make Sunday or not, but all I know is that from this moment to Sunday I won't sleep if it's necessary. I've waited too long to captain a final for Arsenal and I won't give up till the last second."

Wenger admitted that he did not know how long the pair would be out for.

The worst case scenario for the Gunners is that Walcott and Fabregas, who has struggled with hamstring problems in the past, will not be fit for the second leg of the club's Champions League last-16 tie with Barcelona in two weeks' time.

Wenger said: "Theo Walcott has an ankle sprain and he is out. For how long, I don't know, but he is definitely out of Sunday. Fabregas has a hamstring problem. It is impossible to see how serious it is. We will know on Thursday."

Wenger confirmed that he will know by Friday whether Laurent Koscielny and Robin van Persie, who are struggling with back and hamstring complaints respectively, will be fit for Sunday's game.

Wednesday night's scrappy win, which came courtesy of Sebastien Squillaci's first-half header, moved the Gunners to within one point of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Wenger said: "I think we have matured, certainly, because we won a game tonight when we were less creative and fluent, with intelligence and calm and that is what has changed.

"One or two years ago we would have dropped points. Tonight they couldn't make mistakes. We must take a lot of credit because of that."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
European News
Stoke City
Football
Sebastien Squillaci
League Cup
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Birmingham
Laurent Koscielny
Theo Walcott
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