By Richard Clarke
Sol Campbell will decide on his own participation at Barcelona on Tuesday night.
The Arsenal centre back has been struggling with a stiff hamstring since the 1-0 victory over Wolves on Saturday. The 35-year-old failed to complete the team's training session on the eve of the Champions League Quarter-Final second leg and was classed as a doubt by Wenger when he spoke to the press before leaving for Spain.
After William Gallas limped off in the first game at Emirates Stadium last week, the manager moved Alex Song to centre back. That option is not available this time, the Cameroon international damaged his cartilage at the weekend so Campbell is the preferred option. And Wenger's decision will be shaped by the veteran's own viewpoint. The manager argues that the vastly experienced international will not be motivated by self-interest.
"Sol has a stiff hamstring and if that is still there tomorrow, he cannot play," said Wenger. "You cannot go into a game with a stiff hamstring. You need to be fit.
"I will make the decision but he is experienced enough to tell me if he's fit enough or not. I trust him completely to be responsible. He's not on an ego trip. He doesn't want to let the team down. And at some stage, if he feels fit to play, then I will make the decision about who starts the game.
"Ideally I wanted Song available. He's not so the decision is between Sol Campbell and Silvestre.
"I know that the disadvantage with Silvestre and Vermaelen is that they are two left-footed players. But he disadvantage of Sol is that it's his second game in four days. I will have to assess it. But frankly, if Sol declares himself completely fit he will play.
"I believe he has another big performance in his body. He has the experience to cope and this another opportunity for him.
"But overall I believe we have to focus on the team performance. If we do not win the ball and give it to them at the Nou Camp then, no matter who plays centre back, he will have problems."