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Europa League round of 16 draw

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Fabregas 'would be fit for final'

Cesc Fabregas would be fit to feature against Birmingham in the Carling Cup final on Sunday, according to his personal trainer.

Carling Cup final preview
Wenger rules Fabregas out of final
Fabregas makes fitness vow
Walcott out of final

Fabregas was substituted due to a hamstring injury during Arsenal's 1-0 victory over Stoke on Wednesday and, after the match, he wrote on Twitter: "I've waited too long to captain a final for Arsenal and I won't give up till the last second."

However, although Arsene Wenger has said it is only "a very small injury", the Gunners boss insists Fabregas has no chance of featuring at Wembley at the weekend. There have been suggestions that Wenger is taking a precaution to protect Fabregas for the Premier League and, crucially, the second leg of Arsenal's Champions League tie against Barcelona.

The player's personal trainer, speaking on Thursday, said in the Daily Mirror: "If the scanner confirms what we hope, Cesc can play in the Nou Camp on March 8 without problems, no doubt.

"We are optimistic after tests this morning. Cesc asked for the change (against Stoke) as a precaution. He noticed a strange feeling but it stopped. Cesc could play this weekend."

Several national newspapers report on Friday that Fabregas has refused to give up hope of leading the team out against Birmingham.

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