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Wenger has confidence in Fabianski
Published : 27 Sep 2010 20:10:00
Arsene Wenger has backed Lukasz Fabianski to impress against Partizan Belgrade in their Champions League encounter in Serbia on Tuesday night. The Gunners were shell-shocked by their home Premier League defeat to West Brom on Saturday, where they had trailed 3-0, and now must look to get their season back on track with a positive result in one of the most intimidating atmospheres in European football. Partizan may have come through three rounds of qualifying to reach the group stages, but the Belgrade side are in good form, with five wins from six to top their domestic table. Wenger, though, maintains lessons have been learned from what was an abject display against the Baggies. "The disappointment was very deep, but we can learn from what has happened to us," said Wenger. "We realise that we need to be focused in every single game, produce performances in every single game and that is what I believe we have learnt from Saturday. "I believe in the intelligence of my group players and I have no doubt in their talents. "We will be highly motivated and will try to redress what was not right on Saturday." Manuel Almunia - who made a number of errors - picked up an elbow injury in that game which opens the door for Fabianski on Tuesday, with the Pole looking to take his chance with both hands rather than drop another clanger. Wenger continued: "For Fabianski, it is another big chance - but you want a goalkeeper or any player to grab the chance when you get it. "As a manager you can give a chance to a player who is good enough and I believe in his talent. "He gets another opportunity to show how good he is. I want him to show how good he is. "There is only one way to show confidence in a player and that is to put him on the pitch and give him his chance." Stadion FK Partizan will be at boiling point come kick-off on Tuesday night, as 'The Gravediggers' look to extend Arsenal's record of failing to win away in the Champions League since last September. The Serbians, though, have something of a chequered history of crowd trouble and were thrown out of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup for clashes in a qualifying tie against Zrinjski Mostar - while in September last year, a Toulouse fan died in hospital after being injured following violence in a bar ahead of the two sides' Europa League tie. Indeed, Partizan went as far as issuing a plea for calm on their own website, declaring "this is our chance to wipe out ugly traces of the recent past and we shouldn't miss this opportunity." Wenger, though, is confident the game can pass without incident. "We are always inside the stadium, so I do not know what is happening outside, I leave that to UEFA and to the Serbian authorities. I am sure they will do that very well," he said. "Serbia is a traditional football country, which has produced many fantastic players. "They know sport, they know football and I believe it will be very passionate because they are very passionate football people." Partizan will be led by Brazil-born striker Cleo, who scored eight of his 11 goals this season in that qualifying competition and has recently been granted Serbian citizenship so he can play in the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Although they lost the first Group H fixture 1-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk, Wenger maintains his team will face a stern test of their own European credentials on Tuesday night. "What I expect is for Partizan to play a highly passionate game and to try to catch us on the break," he said. "They have the traditional strengths of Serbian teams - they are intelligent, with a good technique and in the final third, if you give them room they are always dangerous." The Arsenal boss concluded: "Overall what I believe is the most dangerous for us is that they win the duels, play at a high pace and we are not prepared for that. "I believe the collective drive that they have going forward could be dangerous for us."