Van Persie ruled out for Arsenal

Arsenal will be without striker Robin van Persie for Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg trip to Villarreal with a groin injury.

Van Persie missed Saturday's 2-0 home win over Manchester City and was ruled out of the game by manager Arsene Wenger, the club's website (www.arsenal.com) reported today.

Fellow striker Eduardo da Silva is also out, with a groin strain, but Samir Nasri, who had flu, and Theo Walcott (knee) were both passed fit for the game.

Wenger is starting to get most of his injured players back again now and Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor both made long-awaited returns on Saturday when the Spain midfielder set up both goals for the Togo striker.

Both should start in Spain, although midfielder Andrei Arshavin is ineligible having played for Zenit St Petersburg earlier in the competition.

Wenger said that his side had to be particularly on their guard against former Gunners Pascal Cygan and Robert Pires.

"They want to show you that they still have the quality and they are even more resolute to punish you," he told the BBC.

"Everybody who loves Arsenal loves Robert Pires. For us he was fantastic," he said of the midfielder who spent six years at Arsenal and played in the semi-final victory over Villarreal in 2006.

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