Fabregas hopeful of facing Barça
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Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is "optimistic" he should be fit to face Barcelona next week.

The Spanish FIFA World Cup™-winner limped out of the Premier League game against Stoke City on 23 February with a hamstring problem, and missed the shock Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham City at Wembley as a result.

Fabregas will not be rushed into a return, but remains optimistic he can recover in time to face his boyhood club at the Camp Nou, where Arsenal will hold a slender 2-1 lead.

Speaking in his programme notes for this afternoon's Premier League clash against Sunderland, Fabregas said: "As far as my injury is concerned, I am feeling really good at the moment

I am doing everything I possibly can to get ready as soon as I can. I am optimistic that everything should be okay for Tuesday.
Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal captain

"I am doing everything I possibly can to get ready as soon as I can. Physically I feel good and it was good to have a bit of a rest too because I am sure I will come back stronger.

"It may have even been possible for me to be on the bench for today's game, but we decided together that it would be better for me to rest well instead, have a good training session on Sunday, take a look Monday and then hopefully fly to Barcelona. I am optimistic that everything should be okay for Tuesday."

Fabregas' return is seen as crucial to the Gunners' chances, as they are already without injured Netherlands striker Robin van Persie and England forward Theo Walcott.