Wenger: We'll win it for Cesc
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to win the League Cup for Cesc Fabregas after the captain was ruled out of Sunday's final against Birmingham.
A hamstring injury sustained in Wednesday's Premier League win over Stoke will keep Spaniard Fabregas sidelined for the Wembley showpiece. The 23-year-old limped off after just 14 minutes of the Stoke match, and although he had hoped to shake off the problem in time for the weekend, Arsenal last night ruled him out of their plans.
Wenger told Arsenal TV Online: "It is a very small injury but certainly Cesc will be out for Sunday. For how long [beyond that] I don't know, but definitely for Sunday. He is disappointed. We all feel sorry and sad for him. The only way we help him now is to win the Carling Cup as he contributed a lot in this competition."
Fabregas will be determined to be fit for the second leg of Arsenal's Champions League tie with Barcelona on 8 March. However Wenger would not give a firm indication of when his star man would be next available. "It is very difficult to give a deadline," Wenger said. "It is impossible."
Theo Walcott will also miss the League Cup final after being carried off on a stretcher in the Stoke game. His absence for the final was confirmed in the immediate aftermath of the Emirates Stadium clash with the Potters. Wenger said: "He has a classic ankle sprain. We don't think there is any more damage to it, but it is still a sprain. We are sad for him too. He is out for Sunday and maybe one or two weeks more."
Robin van Persie, Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby are expected to be available for Wembley after they all missed the Stoke game. Van Persie sat out the match with a hamstring problem, Koscielny was missing with a back problem and Diaby, who was suspended, should be fit after a calf complaint.
Wenger added: "All the three will be available. That's the good news. And everybody else is all right from the Stoke game too."