Van Persie will make it harder, insists Pedro

BARCELONA winger Pedro believes Arsenal will be a far tougher nut to crack in the Champions League this season with Robin van Persie spearheading their attack and firing on all cylinders.

The Dutch international missed last year’s Lionel Messi inspired 6-3 aggregate quarter-final defeat through injury, but since his return to the Arsenal first team in November he has been in irrepressible form and has scored 11 goals since the turn of the year.

“They’re a great team and very difficult opposition with very good players, especially up front,” said Pedro. “It will be a very difficult tie, different from last year as maybe they are more dangerous [with Van Persie].”

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger is to give Samir Nasri a fitness test today before deciding whether or not to put him on the bench for tomorrow’s crunch meeting at Emirates Stadium.

The France midfielder has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury.

Wenger said: “Physically he is ready. Who is not desperate to play? Just is there a risk to have a setback. I will not take a crazy gamble.”