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Barcelona boosted by Iniesta return; Arsenal add Song to injured list

Midfielder Andres Iniesta has been named in Barcelona's 19-man squad to take on Arsenal at the Nou Camp.
Midfielder Andres Iniesta has been named in Barcelona's 19-man squad to take on Arsenal at the Nou Camp.
  • Andres Iniesta included in Barcelona squad for Champions League clash with Arsenal
  • Influential Spain midfielder missed first leg of quarterfinal due to a hamstring injury
  • Arsenal add Cameroon midfielder Alex Song to English club's lengthening injury list
  • Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder may miss trip to Russia's CSKA Moscow

(CNN) -- Barcelona hope to welcome back Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta to their depleted team for Tuesday's second leg of the European Champions League quarterfinal against Arsenal.

The influential Iniesta missed last week's 2-2 draw in London with a hamstring injury, but has been named in the titleholders' 19-man squad after receiving medical clearance.

"He has got better over the last few days. It will depend a lot on how he feels after training this evening and tomorrow morning" coach Pep Guardiola told Barcelona's Web site on Monday.

However, Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic -- who scored both goals in England -- misses out after suffering a calf injury in the warm-up before Saturday's 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Whoever maintains possession of the ball and makes the other team run will take this match
--Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola

Teenager Bojan Krkic, who scored two goals after stepping up in that match, will compete for a starting place alongside Lionel Messi with former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry.

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Barca coach Pep Guardiola is missing suspended captain Carles Puyol and fellow defender Gerard Pique, while Dmytro Chygrynskiy is cup-tied, so Mexico international Rafael Marquez and Argentina's Gabriel Milito should feature in the back four.

Right-back Daniel Alves returns from his domestic ban and midfielder Yaya Toure could play despite suffering an injury against Bilbao, while reserve players Andreu Fontas and Jonathan dos Santos were included in the squad, Barcelona's Web site reported on Monday.

Barcelona blew a two-goal lead in the first leg despite dominating the first hour, and Guardiola said his team had to focus on the game and not be distracted by Saturday's showdown with Spanish title rivals Real Madrid.

"Making it through this round or not will decide everything," he said. "So we have to stay alive in the Champions League in order to be optimistic about the eight league matches we have left.

"Whoever maintains possession of the ball and makes the other team run will take this match. We played very well over there and displayed good football, but they can play too and that's why they came back for a draw."

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Arsenal have suffered another injury blow with midfielder Alex Song ruled out with a knee problem, joining captain Cesc Fabregas, France defender William Gallas and Russia forward Andrei Arshavin on the sidelines.

Cameroon international Song was substituted during Saturday's Premier League win over Wolverhampton due to a groin worry, but a scan on his knee has revealed cartilage damage.

Song had filled in for Gallas in central defense against Barcelona, but was caught out for both of Ibrahimovic's goals.

Manager Arsene Wenger said he was unsure whether veteran Sol Campbell would partner Thomas Vermaelen in Song's place, as the former England international was struggling to recover from his weekend exertions.

"That is a decision I have to make after speaking to him tomorrow," he told Arsenal's Web site on Monday. "Today he was still not completely available although he managed to get a warm-up.

"To go into such a game you must be completely fit or not play at all."

Whichever team progresses to the last four will face a semifinal against either Italian champions Inter Milan or Russia's CSKA Moscow.

Jose Mourinho's Inter team hold a slender 1-0 lead going into the second leg on Tuesday, which will be played on CSKA's artificial pitch.

Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder may miss the match after injuring an ankle in training on Monday, while goalkeeper Julio Cesar and center-back Ivan Cordoba also face late fitness tests after picking up knocks in Saturday's 3-0 win over Bologna.

CSKA, seeking to become the first Russian team to reach the semifinals of Europe's premier club competition since Moscow rivals Spartak in 1991, will be without the services of suspended midfielders Evgeni Aldonin and Milos Krasic.

"The most important thing is the result. If we qualify without playing spectacular football, I am sure everyone at the club will be happy," coach Leonid Slutsky told reporters.

"I do not think it will help us to play on the artificial field. Judging from the Russia national team's games on the pitch and the manner in which the Russian teams have played in Europe, I do not think there are big differences."