Nasri injury doubt puts Walcott in line for key role in Kiev

<I><B>*football</B></I>
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The Independent Online

By Matt Gatward

Theo Walcott, who scored three times for England last week, could be in line for his third match in a week in three different countries tomorrow as Arsenal take on Dynamo Kiev in their first Champions League match of the new campaign.

Arsenal's Samir Nasri will have his ankle injury assessed before a decision is made on whether he travels to Ukraine and if the French midfielder is unable to make the trip Walcott is likely to retain his place on the left of midfield after impressing for England and against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday when he set up Robin van Persie's opening goal and gave the home defence the runaround.

However, his manager Arsène Wenger is also keen not to overplay the 19-year-old and allow him time to recover between matches. Wenger also has slight concerns over the fitness of Gael Clichy and Emmanuel Eboué as they picked up knocks during the win at Blackburn, although central defender Mikael Silvestre may be available having recovered from a thigh complaint.

The Dynamo coach Yuri Semin watched Emmanuel Adebayor score a hat-trick at Ewood Park but insists he will not man-mark the striker tomorrow in the Group G tie at Valeri Lobanovsky Stadium. "We knew very well prior to this the capabilities of the Arsenal forward," said Semin. "But we will not be putting a man-marker on him. Adebayor plays all over the pitch, and in every zone there will be one of our players to meet him."

Man-marked or not English clubs will dominate the Champions League again this season, the Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said yesterday. "The English are ahead of the rest of Europe," he said. "When you look at the potential they have it will be a surprise if the English don't dominate as they did last year."

Rummenigge said Germany needed to discuss relaxing the country's strict ownership rules and making it easier for individuals to make big investments in clubs. "We have to be careful we don't miss the boat," he added.

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