Champions League

Adebayor eyes hat-trick

2009-04-28 18:49
Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor (File)

London - Emmanuel Adebayor has set his sights on completing an Old Trafford hat-trick after shrugging off a hamstring problem in time for Arsenal's Champions League showdown with Manchester United on Wednesday.

The Togo striker, who scored at United's base in the league last season and notched the winner there in September 2006, is aiming to claim another crucial European away goal on Wednesday evening in the semi-final first leg.

"When you get onto the pitch the people around will be singing against you, they will be hating you, and that can give you more motivation," he said.

"I know they do not like me there because I managed to get a goal, and you just feel like 'Okay, I will show you again how good I am.'

"In three games there I have scored two goals and I know it will not be easy to get another one, but I will give 100 percent to do everything it takes to score or to help my team win the game."

Adebayor knows Arsenal will have to be close to their best if they are to emulate their November league win over the defending champions.

"We know how good they are and it is going to be an exciting game for English football," Adebayor said. "It is going to be tough, but we just have to believe we can do it, that we can win this cup. That is why we are here.

"We have the quality in the squad and are in form."

With leading scorer Robin van Persie injured and Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin cup-tied, Arsenal will rely on Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri getting forward from wide positions to support Adebayor while captain Cesc Fabregas slots into the spaces behind the centre-forward.

"We always look to keep a clean sheet and, with the attacking players we have got in this team, we can score goals from all sorts of positions," Walcott said.

"If we can get a goal, that would be a brilliant result for us. The tempo is going to be very quick, a bit like a Premier League match."

Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre is hopeful of being fit to face his former club despite sustaining a back injury against Boro, but regular left-back Gael Clichy is still out, so youngster Kieran Gibbs will be pitted against Cristiano Ronaldo.

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and centre-back Johan Djourou both made a timely return to action at the weekend and are expected to feature at Old Trafford.

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