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Fabregas to miss decider

ARSENE WENGER will be without Cesc Fabregas for Sunday's Carling Cup final against Birmingham after tests on the hamstring he injured against Stoke City on Wednesday night revealed the problem was more serious than first thought.

Wenger confirmed that that he will not be risked ahead of the Champions League second leg tie against Barcelona on Tuesday week, but was unsure whether Fabregas would be fit for the European clash.

Arsenal are already resigned to being without Theo Walcott, who will have a scan today on his twisted left ankle.

The first signs are that the 21-year-old will be out for a matter of weeks rather than months because the swelling around the affected area is not too pronounced.

"It is a very small injury, but certainly Cesc will be out for Sunday," Wenger said. "For how long (beyond that), I don't know, but definitely for Sunday. It is very difficult to give a deadline. It is impossible."

"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."

Irish Independent