April 23, 2015 14:28:01 UK
Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal supporters to show former captain Cesc Fabregas “the respect he deserves” in Sunday’s clash with Chelsea.
The Spaniard spent eight years at Arsenal under Wenger from 2003 until 2011 before returning to his native land to join Barcelona.
When the midfielder decided to leave the Catalan club last summer, many expected he would return to Arsenal but Wenger chose not to exercise a buy-back option on the 27-year-old.
The Gunners boss insists he has no regrets on allowing Fabregas move to champions-elect Chelsea, although he is still troubled by his decision to move on four years ago.
This club and myself had a very positive influence on Cesc’s life.
“The regret I have is that he wanted to leave here,” said Wenger.
“This club and myself had a very positive influence on Cesc’s life, so I would be a bit uncomfortable to have to justify today why he is not here. I believe I would rather it was the other way around.”
Fabregas has helped Chelsea to the brink of Premier League title success, their first since 2010.
Chelsea are 3.10 to all but secure the title by winning at the Emirates on Sunday.
Wenger has never beaten a Jose Mourinho-led side in 12 matches but he feels there is reason for optimism given Arsenal’s strong league form.
“I just think football is down to the fact that the performance on the day will decide the game and the result. We are on a good run, we have an opportunity to beat them at home, and we want to take it,” Wenger added.
Arsenal are 2.37 to defeat Chelsea on Sunday while Fabregas is 7.00 to score against his former club.
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