Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vela set for key Porto role

Arsene Wenger is expected to turn to Mexican youngster Carlos Vela in Arsenal's Champions League tie at Porto.

The teenager has impressed in the Gunners' Carling Cup run this season, hitting a hat-trick against Sheffield United and netting a superb goal in the following round against Wigan.

Vela has come off the bench in four of Arsenal's European games so far but is set to start in Portugal, after Wenger opted to rest Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor.

"Vela is a great player and a great striker," said Wenger on the club's website.

"He is 19 years old and has adapted very well. Every chance he has been given, he has played well, and he will get another chance to show that again [on Wednesday night]."

William Gallas and Abou Diaby are also set to return but Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri are out injured, while Wenger revealed Manuel Almunia will be the captain and not Gallas, as some reports suggested.

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