Fabregas out of Chelsea clash

LONDON - Brief news from the Premier League before this weekend's matches:

Arsenal have ruled out captain Cesc Fabregas, goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and defender Kieran Gibbs for their trip to Chelsea on Sunday.

Spain midfielder Fabregas has been out with a hamstring injury since the 1-1 draw with Sunderland on September 18 and had been considered 50-50 for the game at Stamford Bridge.

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"Fabregas is not fit to play in this one and nor is Almunia," manager Arsene Wenger told reporters.

"We lost Gibbs as well on Tuesday night with a calf problem and he is out of the England squad as well. He is out for two to three weeks."

Chelsea hope to have Frank Lampard back in action after the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers, assistant manager Ray Wilkins told reporters on Friday.

"He's recovered from the hernia but in the meantime while he was training to get back he's just got a slight groin strain and it's just given him more problems than he anticipated," Wilkins said.

"I think after the international break we'd expect to see Frank there or thereabouts."

Wilkins also expects to have Yossi Benayoun, Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou available for the trip to Aston Villa on October 16.

Striker Wayne Rooney will miss Manchester United's trip to Sunderland on Saturday after failing to recover from an ankle injury.

"Wayne trained yesterday (Thursday) and wants to play of course," manager Sir Alex Ferguson said on Friday.

"But I've got to take the view that this ankle injury has been niggling for quite a while and (he) has kept on playing with it. Now we have identified that, we have to be dead sure we are doing the right thing for him."

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is facing a left back dilemma ahead of Sunday's match against Blackpool at Anfield.

Paul Konchesky, Fabio Aurelio and Daniel Agger were already nursing injuries before youngster Martin Kelly hurt his knee in Thursday's goalless Europa League draw with Utrecht.

"Kelly has got a slight problem with his knee so that could be another left back out for us," Hodgson told the club's website. "I don't know how bad that is so we'll have to wait and see."

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is playing a waiting game on the fitness of captain Ledley King ahead of Saturday's match against Aston Villa.

The defender played the full 90 minutes of Wednesday's Champions League victory over Twente Enschede.

"We should know by the end of training whether or not Ledley will be available," Redknapp told reporters on Friday.

"Other than that we're not too bad, we've the same players out as we had on Wednesday. William Gallas isn't ready and neither is Younes Kaboul and the longer-term injuries are still out."