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Arsenal poised to advance
by Paul Kennedy, April 15th, 2009 7AM



[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Only fourth in the English Premier League, Arsenal nonetheless may be the hottest of the four EPL clubs in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. The Gunners are favored to beat Villarreal Wednesday (TV: ESPN Deportes & Setanta Sports USA, live, 2:30 pm ET) and advance to the semifinals.

The Gunners, who earned a 1-1 draw in Spain last week, have won five EPL games in a row and have reached the semifinals of the FA Cup against Chelsea on Saturday at Wembley.

With Cesc Fabregas back in action and Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor in fine form, Arsenal has the talent to go far.

Of concern, though, are injuries to goalie Manuel Almunia and French defenders William Gallas and Gael Clichy.

Probable teams:
Arsenal -- 21-Fabianski; 3-Sagna, 5-Toure, 20-Djourou, 18-Silvestre; 15-Denilson, 17-Song, 4-Fabregas, 14-Walcott; 8-Nasri; 25-Adebayor.
Villarreal -- 13-D.Lopez; 18-A.Lopez, 4-Godin, 2-Rodriguez, 5-Capdevila; 10-Cani, 21-Soriano, 6-Eguren, 11-Ibagaza; 16-Llorente, 22-Rossi.

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