Van Persie sidelined for United showdown

Arsenal forward Robin van Persie will miss Arsenal's Champions League semi-final first leg with Manchester United next week due to a groin problem. The Dutchman sat out Tuesday night's 4-4 draw against Liverpool at Anfield with the injury, in the hope that the rest would enable him to recover in time to face the European Cup holders at Old Trafford next week.

However, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the ex-Feyenoord star will miss the tie, although the Gunners should be able to welcome back stricken trio Manuel Almunia, Johan Djourou and Emmanuel Adebayor in time for Sunday's league meeting with Middlesbrough.

"We will rotate a little bit again, but we have no major injuries from Liverpool," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.

"Manuel Almunia was in full training today and we will see how he responds. Djourou was in full training also so we will see how he is too. Both could come back into the squad.

"It is not enough training to say yet, we need 48 hours more. Emmanuel Adebayor should come back into training on Saturday. He could be in the squad.

"But Robin van Persie is definitely out for Sunday and for Manchester United.

"Gael Clichy could be back for the second Manchester United game. He has a scan on Monday. We'll go from there. He has a chance to be back in full training next week."

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