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Arsenal's Wenger feeling pressure from long injury list

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is feeling the pressure of a long injury list and is keeping his fingers crossed that his squad does not have anybody else go down in the season run-in.

The Gunners currently have eight of the first team players either out or not at full fitness and the Frenchman is facing some tough decisions ahead of the Champions League quarter-final return clash with Barcelona on Wednesday, especially after Alex Song hurt his groin and may now miss the match.

"Song had a groin problem and we will assess him ahead of Tuesday," Wenger said.

"The problem we have at the moment is that we are short. We rested Diaby, Clichy, Nasri, Bendtner against Wolves and we have Fabregas, Gallas, Van Persie, Arshavin out. Can you believe that? That's eight players. Any injury now can hit us very hard."

And Wenger was also weighing up the option of starting veteran defender Sol Campbell to cover for the loss of centre-half William Gallas who is now out for up to three weeks.

"That's a decision I will have to make with him and see how he (Sol) feels," said Wenger. "The pitch is massive over there in Barcelona and we will see how he recovers. But it is just two games in four days."

One decision he has already made is that Samir Nasri will be deployed in a central midfield role to cover for inspirational skipper Cesc Fabregas who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken leg.

"Nasri will of course be important because he will lead our game. I would love Cesc to be there 100 per cent," he added further.

"But we have no choice, we have to compensate a little bit. I have to find good balance in the side to make life difficult for them. But of course Nasri is one of the players who can create."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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