Champions League

Adebayor to miss Roma clash

2009-03-09 15:43
Emmanuel Adebayor (File)

London - Arsene Wenger has admitted Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor will miss Arsenal's Champions League tie with Roma on Wednesday but the Gunners manager hopes Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure will be fit.

Adebayor has been sidelined for a month after suffering a hamstring injury in the goalless Premier League draw with Tottenham and will not travel to Italy for the last 16 second leg clash as Arsenal try to hold onto their one-goal lead.

Although Toure missed Sunday's FA Cup victory over Burnley with a minor injury, Wenger believes he has a good chance of recovering in time.

"Adebayor definitely won't be able to play, but I will wait to see what the report is on Kolo before I decide what my starting XI will be," Wenger said.

Despite Adebayor's absence, Wenger will have more attacking options after Eduardo and Theo Walcott played against Burnley.

Eduardo marked his return from a hamstrin g injury with a superb goal, while England winger Walcott played the last 20 minutes in his first appearance since shoulder surgery in November.

Walcott admits he is not fit enough to start yet, but he hopes to make an impact from the substitutes bench in the Stadio Olympico.

"I need a few more training sessions, a few more games coming off the bench and hopefully if I am doing well the boss will put me in," Walcott said.

"I am just looking forward to another experience in Italy. In Arsenal training, you obviously dont want to injure your own players so you tend to be a little softer but match days are totally different.

"I still haven't experienced getting clattered yet so that's the next test but our new doctor has come from a rugby background. He has dealt with two dislocated shoulders a year and he said, touch wood, I'll be OK."

With Walcott and Eduardo and Cesc Fabregas set to return by the start of April, Arsenal are approaching full strength again at a crucial stage of the season.

The Gunners are through to the FA Cup quarter-finals, where they face Hull for the right to play Chelsea in the last four, and are only three points behind Aston Villa in the battle for a top four finish in the Premier League.

"I believe everyone at this club is a big player but the more there are in the squad it boosts the fans which is very important. As soon as we have got these players back, hopefully we will be flying," he said.

"We haven't really lost that many games, we have just drawn a few. I am going to try and give something back to the team and try and push for those Champions League spots.

"We are not going to get too ahead of ourselves. But if we play football like we did against Burnley we can beat anyone."


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