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Arsenal duo in fitness race

Published: Monday 5 April 2004, 11.53CET rounds up the team news ahead of this week's UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. features

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Published: Monday 5 April 2004, 11.53CET

Arsenal duo in fitness race rounds up the team news ahead of this week's UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

The UEFA Champions League returns this week with four quarter-final second-leg ties. rounds up the early team news from the eight contenders.

Tuesday: Arsenal FC v Chelsea FC (1-1)

Cup woe
Arsenal have been boosted by the appearance in training of Spain forward José Antonio Reyes and Sweden midfield player Fredrik Ljungberg. The duo suffered knee and hand injuries respectively in Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup semi-final defeat against Manchetser United FC, but the injuries do not seem as serious as first feared. "They are in the squad, but no decision has been made yet. They trained so we will see how they react," said manager Arsène Wenger. "It is encouraging because the doctor told me after the game on Saturday that Reyes had done his knee ligaments." Wenger is already without left-back Ashley Cole for Tuesday's game - the full-back was ruled of of contention last week with a knee injury.

Desailly absence
Chelsea are without captain Marcel Desailly due to suspension. The French international was sent off in the first leg for two bookable offences. However, they go into the second leg in good form, having won 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur FC on Saturday.

Tuesday: AS Monaco FC v Real Madrid CF (2-4)

Helguera worry
David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane shook off recent injury worries to play in Saturday's 2-1 win at Albacete Balompié. However, Beckham will miss Tuesday's match through suspension. Central defender Iván Helguera has recovered from a groin strain but Luís Figo is a doubt with a foot knock.

Nonda return
Monaco defender Sébastien Squillaci is out with a thigh injury. Jim Ablancourt stepped in for Friday's league game against AJ Ajaccio but was substituted at half-time with Monaco trailing 3-0. Forward Shabani Nonda could be in line for his first Champions League appearance of the season. The 27-year-old made his comeback after seven months out with a serious knee injury in the second half against Ajaccio and helped Monaco come back to draw 3-3, scoring five minutes after his introduction. Midfielder Lucas Bernardi is suspended for the second leg.

Wednesday: RC Deportivo La Coruña v AC Milan (1-4)

Sánchez sprain
Forward Víctor Sánchez scored in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Real Betis Balompié but then sustained a sprained ankle and was replaced at half-time. He is almost certain to miss Wednesday's match. Elsewhere, winger Lionel Scaloni has been recovering from a groin injury and is also unlikely to figure.

Shevchenko uncertainty
European champions Milan are without midfield player Massimo Ambrosini, who was forced off after 26 minutes of the weekend match against Modena FC with a thigh injury. Andriy Shevchenko, who missed the 1-1 draw after suffering a facial injury during Ukraine's friendly against F.Y.R. Macedonia last week, is in the squad, although coach Carlo Ancelotti insists his involvement in the match is not certain. "Right now I cannot say if Shevchenko will recover in time," he said. Alessandro Nesta played for 90 minutes against Modena, as he returned from the thigh strain that forced him to miss the first leg.

Wednesday: Olympique Lyonnais v FC Porto (0-2)

Govou tests
Lyon striker Sidney Govou is a doubt after limping off against Olympique de Marseille, a game Lyon lost 2-1, after just 21 minutes. He will undergo further scans today. Midfield player Eric Carrière was recently ruled out of action for four to six weeks with a torn thigh muscle while defender Claudio Caçapa will be absent until the end of the season with a knee problem.

Duo travel
Porto's Benni McCarthy and Maniche both have minor knocks but will travel to France nevertheless. South Africa forward McCarthy sustained an injury to his right ankle during training on Friday and missed the 2-0 defeat by Gil Vicente FC on Saturday while midfield player Maniche has a thigh problem. McCarthy is the more serious doubt. "I don't know if he will be able to play," said coach José Mourinho. "But he will travel with us."

Last updated: 05/04/04 17.08CET

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