Arsenal will not gamble on Nasri for Barcelona game

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.

"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 and Tuesday.

"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 stupid."

Arsenal play in the FA Cup fifth round against Orient on Sunday and the League Cup final against Birmingham on Feb. 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 March 8.

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 the Emirates Stadium) we will try to play to our strengths," Wenger said. "We will try to attack the other team."

Bureau Report

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