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Van Persie ruled out of Villareal clash

Arsenal have been dealt a blow ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Villareal tonight with the news that Robin van Persie will miss the game. The Dutch picked up a groin strain on international duty last week and failed to pass a late fitness test.

The Gunners are already without the ineligible Andrei Arshavin and the injured duo Eduardo and Abou Diaby. However, it's not all bad news for Arsene Wenger with both Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott having been passed fit to take part.

The loss of van Persie, however, is a hammer blow. The 26-year-old is Arsenal's top scorer this season and his absence means that the misfiring Nicklas Bendtner looks set to start.

Arsenal squad: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Nasri, Denilson, Fabregas, Walcott, Adebayor, Fabianski, Song, Silvestre, Djourou, Gibbs, Ramsey, Bendtner, Eboue, Vela, Merida, Wilshere.

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