Fabregas: Arshavin absence massive

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas admits the absence of Andrey Arshavin could prove crucial in Tuesday night's Champions League semi-final second leg. The diminutive Russian playmaker has been in inspired form for the Gunners since arriving at the beginning of February, netting six goals in 10 league appearances for Arsene Wenger's side, including four against Liverpool at Anfield.

However, Arshavin - who captained Arsenal at Portsmouth on Saturday - is ineligible for the Gunners in Europe having already competed in the competition for Zenit St.Petersburg in the group stages this season.

And Fabregas admits the team will miss his presence as they attempt to overturn Manchester United's 1-0 lead from the first leg at Old Trafford last week.

“We will miss him in the Champions League. Andrey is a super player,” he told El Mundo Deportivo.

“His addition to Arsenal's attack will be huge. He is a very good footballer who is involved in the game at every minute.

"He has technique, speed and scoring ability. He's a winner. We have a very good understanding on the field.”

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