LONDON - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
will not be "stupid" by rushing back midfielder Samir Nasri for
Wednesday's Champions League last 16 first-leg match against
Barcelona, the Frenchman said on Monday.
"I will not take a crazy gamble," Wenger said of his
compatriot Nasri, who he admitted is "physically ready" after a
two-week layoff with a hamstring injury.
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"He has worked very hard in the last week... just there is a
risk to have a setback," Wenger added on the club's website
before saying Nasri would have tests on Monday
"Who isn't desperate to play? But there is another game in
three weeks. We also have Leyton Orient, the Carling Cup Final,
we have so many games coming up it is important not to be
Arsenal play in the FA Cup fifth round against Orient on
Sunday and the League Cup final against Birmingham on February 27,
when they will seek to win their first trophy since the 2005 FA
Cup. They head to Spain for the return leg against Barcelona on
In last year's Champions League quarter-final Arsenal clung
on for a 2-2 draw in London against the Spanish champions but
were torn apart 4-1 at the Nou Camp.
"Here (at Emirates Stadium) we will try to play to our
strengths," Wenger said. "We will try to attack the other team."
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