Champions League - Wenger backs Campbell to start

PA Sport - Tue, 16 Feb 17:26:00 2010

Arsene Wenger believes Sol Campbell can prove his worth to Arsenal if the veteran defender plays against Porto on Wednesday night.

2009-10 Premier League Arsenal Sol Campbell - 0

Campbell has featured just twice for the Gunners since beginning a second spell with the north London club in January, playing 90 minutes in the FA Cup defeat at Stoke and 55 minutes in the 0-0 Premier League draw with Aston Villa.

But the 35-year-old former England international looks likely to be called upon to make his first European appearance for Arsenal since the 2006 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in 2006 following an injury to fellow centre-half William Gallas.

Gallas (back), midfielder Alex Song (knee) and Andrey Arshavin (hamstring) were all absent from the 18-man squad which left Luton Airport on Tuesday afternoon, as were goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (finger) and striker Eduardo (hamstring).

Asked if that meant Campbell would play, Arsenal boss Wenger said: "It's a possibility that I don't rule out at the moment because if he does not play it means two left-footed players in that position (Thomas Vermaelen and Mikael Silvestre).

"It would mean he can show his signing was worth doing and he can help us in going through to the last eight."

Speaking about Almunia, Wenger added: "Almunia already had a twisted finger and made it worse and I did not want to take a risk."

PA Sport

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