Arsenal FC: Robin Van Persie Fit to Face Barcelona in Champions League 2nd Leg

James WillisAnalyst IMarch 7, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal celebrates Arsenal's first goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Arsenal has confirmed that Robin Van Persie is fit to face Barcelona when the two teams meet on Tuesday night in the Champions League round of 16.

After picking up a minor injury in the Carling Cup final against Birmingham City on February 27th, Van Persie was not originally expected to be available for the two teams important clash at the Nou Camp.

That was not the only boost to the team though as Arsene Wenger confirmed that Cesc Fabregas was 90 percent likely to be fit in time for the match also.

When asked about the midfielder's fitness, Wenger said "It is 90 percent he will be fit. His return is vital, he is important [for the] attack and defense."

He went on to add that despite the good news, the club also had other injury problems. "Alex Song is completely out. He had a test on Sunday morning and it was negative. Wilshere will be fit. Everybody else who played on Saturday should be available."

In the period Fabregas has been out injured, Arsenal has struggled for results, losing the Carling Cup final to Birmingham and only managing a 0-0 draw with Sunderland.

The return of Dutch striker Robin Van Persie, though, will be a major boost to the team after they struggled to convert their chances against Sunderland last weekend.

Wenger is expected to deploy a five man midfield in the match with the newly fit Cesc Fabregas joining. Robin Van Persie is likely going to be the lone striker for the match, with Nicklas Bendtner back on the bench.

Arsene Wenger said of his tactical plan "We do not have enough security to sit back and defend. You can't go to Barcelona, play for a 0-0 and not try to score. It is also not the personality of this team. We will look to defend well and attack well. We are not a team that will refuse to attack, we know that."

He then went on to add that "the challenge will be to find the right balance between having a team who can defend, as well as one that has a good opportunity, every time it has the ball, to go forward."

Arsenal takes a 2-1 lead into the match following a surprise first leg victory at the Emirates stadium. This time, however, they face a much stiffer test as they travel to the intimidating Camp Nou to face the Spanish giants on their own turf.