Fabregas expected to miss five games

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta

Cesc Fabregas play for England?

Cesc Fabregas is expected to be ruled out of Arsenal’s next five matches, starting with the Gunners’ clash with Portsmouth at Fratton Park this evening.

The 22-year-old stole the headlines on Sunday after producing an astounding second-half substitute performance in which he scored two goals against Aston Villa at the Emirates. The Spaniard then limped off just 28 minutes later after he aggravated the hamstring injury that had originally prevented him from starting Sunday’s clash.

The Arsenal medical team are understood to have reviewed the results of a scan that took place on Tuesday and believe that Arsene Wenger will pay a price of four or five matches without the Spaniard for his cameo role against Villa.

But Fabregas remained positive after the game: “I am in good spirits when it comes to the injury,” said the Arsenal captain.

“Sure, I won’t be able to play for a while, but I hope to be fit soon and will return to help the team. It happened as I scored the second goal against Villa: I sprinted [on to Theo Walcott’s pass] and felt a strange tug in the back of my leg. But I’d come off the bench with a lot of desire in that game.”

The Gunners will however be buoyed by the news that Tomas Rosicky is available for selection again after recovering from a spell on the sidelines and Alex Song is set to feature before heading to the African Cup of Nations next Monday.

Tonight’s clash at Fratton Park sees Arsenal attempt to close the gap on title-rivals Manchester United — who host Wigan this evening — and will play their second game in hand against Bolton at the Emirates on Wednesday.

Portsmouth, who had the dreaded task of propping up the Premier League table over Christmas, will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 2-0 defeat away to West Ham. Avram Grant will be hoping for a performance similar to the one his side produced as they overcame Liverpool 2-0 under two weeks ago.

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