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Wenger confident of beating Chelsea

8 years ago318 views



Arsene Wenger maintains his Arsenal side have the quality to beat Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday - even without injured captain Cesc Fabregas and a host of first-team regulars.

The 23-year-old Spain World Cup-winner continues to recover from a hamstring problem, and has been joined on the sidelines by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia as well as England Under-21 full-back Kieran Gibbs, who is ruled out of the forthcoming European Championship play-off against Romania with a calf problem.

With the likes of Belgium centre-half Thomas Vermaelen failing to shake off an Achilles problem suffered during the last international break and England forward Theo Walcott and Dutch striker Robin van Persie both out with ankle injuries, a trip to Chelsea is hardly what Wenger would have wanted at this time.

However, boosted by the midweek Champions League victory over Partizan Belgrade in Serbia, the Gunners boss insists last week's shock home defeat by West Brom is now out of their system as he prepares to inflict a second successive league reverse on Chelsea.

"I believe we have enough strength to win the game and that is what we want to do," Wenger declared.

"If we turn up with a great performance - and I am convinced we will - we will beat them. Football is down to the performance on the day."

Wenger added: "What is important is: have we the potential to beat Chelsea - I say yes. Are Chelsea a good team? I say yes, but we can beat a good team."

Almunia's continuing elbow problem means another chance for the much-maligned Lukasz Fabianski to stake his claim, having answered criticism with an impressive display in Belgrade, where he saved a late penalty in the 3-1 win.

"He had a good game [in Belgrade] and can just add another good game to the first one. That's what I want him to do and I am convinced he can do that," Wenger said.

"Our job is about grabbing your chance when you have it. You must be ready the day you have your chance.

"He has the talent, he has the potential, he has the desire, a great attitude, so it's all there to have a good game."

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