Arsenal will be without Cesc Fabregas for Wednesday’s Champions League Group H game against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Spaniard will not feature against the Ukrainian champions after suffering a recurrence of his recent hamstring injury while playing 90 minutes against West Ham United on Saturday.
However, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger expects the skipper to be available again for Sunday’s Premier League game with Newcastle United.
England midfield star Jack Wilshere, who signed a new contract with the club yesterday, is in contention for a starting place after being suspended for Arsenal’s last three domestic games, while Wenger could make several changes to his team to keep things fresh, with Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner likely starters in Donetsk.
Aaron Ramsey (broken leg), Robin van Persie (ankle) and Emmanuel Frimpong (cruciate knee ligament) are all long-term absentees, while Manuel Almunia (elbow), Abou Diaby (ankle), Kieran Gibbs (knee) and Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) are not yet ready for returns either.
Alex Song, Denilson and Andrey Arshavin didn’t travel with the squad.
Predicted Starting XI
Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Clichy
Wilshere – Nasri – Rosicky
Walcott – Chamakh – Vela
The hosts are still without broken leg victom Fernandinho, while Henrik Mkhitaryan – who has missed the cub’s last three domestic games with an infection – is another likely absentee.
Highly-rated attacking midfielder Jadson, who set up former Gunner Eduardo da Silva’s consolation goal in London two weeks ago, is another doubt after he missed the weekend win over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk with a foot injury. Eduardo himself will hope to start against his old friends.
A win for Arsenal would seal thier progression to the next round, with Shakhtar currently in second place three points behind the perfect record Gunners.
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