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FA Cup tickets fall from space

The Toe Poke

Arshavin ruled out of City clash after inflaming injury

Andrei Arshavin has been ruled out of Arsenal's games against Manchester City and Standard Liege with a groin injury after aggravating the problem playing for Russia against Wales.

The Russian risked the anger of Arsene Wenger by returning from injury to play for his country - having been forced to miss the victory over Liechtenstein in the World Cup qualifying match on Saturday - and it has come at a price after playing the full 90 minutes in Cardiff.

The forward has been troubled by a groin problem and has now inflamed his previous injury, which will not please Wenger who is known to be unhappy with his stars playing international fixtures after several, such as Robin van Persie and Johan Djourou, were injured while on national duty.

Wenger said: ''All the players are not back yet, so we have to wait a bit to see what damage has been done by the international games.

''We lost Arshavin, who played with Russia last night and should not have played. He will be out for Saturday, for Wednesday and certainly as well for Wigan. I took him out at Manchester United because of a groin problem.

''He did not play in Russia's first game, but played last night against Wales. He should not have played and is injured. You can say a lot about it, but it does not do a lot.''

Guus Hiddink, the Russia coach, apparently allowed Arshavin to decide himself whether he was fit to play in the group four match at the Millennium Stadium, having said: "If [Arshavin] cannot play, then he won't play. His improvement has been significant but he doesn't take stupid risks."

With a mammoth clash against unbeaten City at Eastlands on Saturday, before starting their UEFA Champions League group campaign in Liege on Wednesday, Wenger may disagree - although may have a fitness boost in the shape of Tomas Rosicky, who played for the Czech Republic against San Marino.


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