Arsenal blow as four players ruled out of Barcelona showdown

By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Gabriel has been ruled out of Arsenal’s Champions League showdown against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

The Brazilian has not recovered from a hamstring injury and will be sidelined for the clash at Emirates Stadium, along with long-term absentees Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta.

Gabriel has missed Arsenal’s last two matches with a hamstring injury and, as revealed by Football Insider last Wednesday, Gabriel is also set to be sidelined for the Manchester United match on Sunday, after returning to Brazil for treatment.

Speaking at his media briefing on Monday afternoon ahead of the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie against the holders, manager Arsene Wenger said: “Wilshere, Cazorla, Arteta and Gabriel are all out. Everyone else is available.”

As reported by Football Insider on Saturday night, Wilshere is set to return to full training this week as his long-awaited comeback draws nearer.

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Arsenal staff have pencilled Wilshere in to train with the first-team squad in a major boost to the team for the final months of the campaign.

The Gunners want the midfielder to get two weeks of training under his belt before gradually phasing him back into competitive action with a run-out for the Under-21s.