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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 14 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Mar 30, 2006

Key duo missing again for Gunners

Sol Campbell and Freddie Ljungberg have been ruled out of this weekend's Barclays Premiership clash with Aston Villa.

But Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is hopeful that Ljungberg could be ready to return to first team duty in time for their second leg against Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final in Turin next week.

Arsenal have been further boosted by the news that England left-back Ashley Cole is to resume running next week after shaking off his ankle injury and could be back within a further fortnight.

'Ashley Cole is doing quite well,' said Wenger. 'In the last week he has developed. He should go out next week and start running. From there it will be two weeks.

'Sol Campbell has a little setback with a toe injury. He should be back in the group for normal training tomorrow but Saturday will be a bit short.

'Pascal Cygan had a setback today in training. That is not good news but Gael Clichy is getting better and better. He should be back in normal training next week.

'Freddie Ljungberg will not be available for Saturday but could be for next week's game in Turin.'

Meanwhile, Thierry Henry believes Arsenal's latest hero Cesc Fabregas possesses the ability to cope with the pressure of being a top star.

The 18-year-old's mature midfield performance was an inspiration against Juventus as Arsenal secured a two-goal first-leg lead to take to take to Turin.

Henry said: 'You have Wayne Rooney, you have Patrick Vieira when he was young, Ronaldinho, people like that.

'There are not a lot of them. I hope he will have the same career. But that is how it is, when you are good you are good.

'He plays well and people say he is a genius. If he doesn't play well then in a year's time they are going to say what happened? He has to cope with that and he can.

'You have some players that if you have a go at them they just drop. He has the character to handle it. He is 18 but he is already holding his head. I hope he can carry on for a long time.

Henry also praised fellow Frenchman Robert Pires for his recent return to form.

Pires was outstanding against Juventus and the Gunners' captain told L'Equipe that the midfielder has benefited from an extended run in the new-look Arsenal.

'Robert has been back for some time,' Henry said. 'But it is easier to play at your best when you are playing regularly.

'He is more liberated than before and you can see that on the pitch. When he was not playing well, everyone was talking about him and now he is doing well, you should be saying so.'