Arsenal forward Robin van Persie remains a game-time decision for manager Arsene Wenger in today's Champions League match-up against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
The striker is nursing a knee injury he sustained nine days ago. Wenger will wait until the last possible moment to decide if van Persie starts the match.
A betting man would place money on van Persie starting the game on the bench, and making his entrance mid-way through the second half if Arsenal's attack sputters or if the Gunners fall to a second-half deficit to the Catalans' impressive offense.
Wenger may want to limit the risk of losing the Dutch forward in the club's chase of first-place Manchester United.
In fact, Arsenal travel to Old Trafford on March 12 in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. A win against the Red Devils would be a tremendous momentum builder for the May 1st Premier League match at Emirates Stadium that both clubs had circled on their calenders since the start of the season.
Having van Persie at 100 percent for Manchester United might be a higher priority than having him start today. The goal-scoring burden falls on the capable shoulders of attackers Marouane Chamakh, Andrei Arshavin, and Nicklas Bendtner.
Defense is key for Arsenal today. Should the Gunners manage a draw, they advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.
A 1-0 loss to Barcelona sends the Catalans through.