Van Persie out of Barcelona match

STRIKER Robin van Persie has been ruled out of next week’s Champions League trip to Barcelona after being told he will need at least three weeks to recover from a knee injury.

Winger Theo Walcott will also definitely miss the second leg of the last 16 tie, which the Gunners lead 2-1, but captain Cesc Fabregas “is looking possible”, manager Arsenal Wenger said yesterday.

Fabregas limped off against Stoke last week and missed Sunday’s Carling Cup final but is determined to face his boyhood club, having missed the corresponding fixture last season.

Midfielder Alex Song, who suffered a blow to his knee at the weekend, will miss tonight’s match but could return for Saturday’s Premier League visit of Sunderland.