Arsenal look to Fabregas

LONDON - Arsenal are promising an audacious approach against Champions League holders Manchester United at Old Trafford today, despite being deprived of two of their most creative players.

LONDON - Arsenal are promising an audacious approach against Champions League holders Manchester United at Old Trafford today, despite being deprived of two of their most creative players.

Andrei Arshavin is cup-tied and leading scorer Robin van Persie is injured for the semi-final first leg but such is the value of an away goal that Arsene Wenger will consider sticking with Cesc Fabregas in to add more bite.

It worked in the Premier League on Sunday, when United boss Alex Ferguson was on hand to see Fabregas score both Arsenal goals in a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.

"It could be that we will do it again because it was quite convincing," Wenger said in a newsletter to fans before the first European meeting between the two English clubs whose rivalry dates back 115 years.

United, who beat Chelsea in last season's all-English final in Moscow, are bidding to become the first club in the Champions League era to retain the European Cup.

Notwithstanding their penalty shootout loss to Everton in the FA Cup semi-final last week, United have recovered from their recent blip when they lost to Liverpool and Fulham in successive games and are now unbeaten in their last seven matches in regular or extra-time.

Saturday's comeback against Tottenham Hotspur, when they scored five goals in 22 minutes to turn a 2-0 half-time deficit into a 5-2 victory, showed them at their most potent.

The result was achieved without Ryan Giggs, who could return for his 800th appearance for the club - 10 years after his famous goal against Arsenal in an FA Cup semi-final replay that put Manchester United on course for the treble in 1999.

Arsenal's Mikael Silvestre has a back problem but Emmanuel Adebayor and Abou Diaby should be fit.- Reuter

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