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Fabregas issues rallying call for United clash

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has challenged his team-mates to turn around their recent slump and beat Manchester United at the weekend. The Gunners were held to a goalless draw against Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Wednesday, making it three games without a victory.

"We have to keep going," Fabregas said. "The next match, against Manchester United, is massive. This is welcomed because it's a big game and big players want to play in big games.

"We don't want excuses because we are playing for Arsenal and a lot of players would like to be in our position. We have to make sure we give everything on the pitch always."

Boss Arsene Wenger repeated his recent criticism of Stoke's strongarm tactics by again accussing referees and opponents of victimising his side following the stalemate with Fenerbahce. Mikael Silvestre is a fresh injury concern after his nose was injured in a challenge involving Semih Senturk.

Wenger said: "Was it intentional? I don't know. He rotated his arm. You must ask the player."

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia missed the Group G clash with an upset stomach, while Bacary Sagna, Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor were also sidelined.

Wenger is getting increasingly frustrated as he feels different rules apply to his team.

He said: "You can look at the fair play table. Who is top? Arsenal Football Club. We have no lessons to learn from anyone on that front. Look at the team that makes less fouls - it is Arsenal Football Club.

"Who gets the more yellow cards after four or five fouls? Arsenal Football Club. Some teams get their first yellow card after 15 fouls. I cannot read the (rule) book or something is wrong.

"I'm responsible for the behaviour of Arsenal and we are top. I do not make that table. Instead of having a go at us, people should look somewhere else."

Wenger feels the rigours of the Premier League accounts for the poor results among English teams in Europe this week.

"None of them had lost until this week and none of them have won this week - this is explained by giving their all in the Premier League and have less resources to do well," he said.

"The Premier League is demanding physically. If you have a Champions League game the week after it is very difficult."


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