RVP to captain Gunners
Robin van Persie will captain Arsenal in Sunday's Carling Cup final, while Theo Walcott could miss the second leg against Barcelona.
By Peter Fraser - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsPeteF
Last Updated: 25/02/11 4:29pm
Robin van Persie will captain Arsenal in Sunday's Carling Cup final, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed.
The Dutchman will skipper his side against Birmingham at Wembley in the absence of the injured Cesc Fabregas, who is expected to miss one or two matches with a hamstring problem.
Van Persie himself will be returning from a fitness setback after his own hamstring complaint ruled the striker out of Wednesday's win over Stoke, when Arsenal remained on track for a possible Quadruple this season.
Wenger has also admitted that Theo Walcott is facing two to three weeks of rehabilitation due to his ankle injury, which would rule the England international out of the UEFA Champions League second leg against Barcelona on 8th March.
The Arsenal manager said at a pre-match press conference, which was broadcast on Sky Sports News, when asked if Fabregas would play: "No, because he is injured and you cannot play football when you are injured.
"He is sad and disappointed, of course. But it could have been worse. The injury is a very small one, and we have so many targets in front of us that it is important he is not out for longer."
Wenger added: "What I believe is important now is that the team and the squad focuses on the game we want to play on Sunday.
"Ideally we want everybody fit, but before the season starts you know that you can have some players injured. We can deal with that."
Vice-captain Van Persie will therefore be promoted and will have the opportunity to become Arsenal's first on-field leader since 2005 to lift a trophy.
Wenger said when asked who will be skipper his side against Birmingham: "The vice-captain, who is Robin van Persie."
Walcott was taken off in the 71st minute of the win over Stoke with his injury and is now facing at least 14 days of rehabilitation.
Wenger said: "Theo Walcott will be two to three weeks for an ankle problem."