Partizan Belgrade v Arsenal preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:14

Partizan Belgrade v Arsenal preview

Arsenal will be without Manuel Almunia (elbow) for Tuesday’s Champions League Group H trip to Partizan Belgrade, but Kieran Gibbs (foot) has travelled.
Youngster Henri Lansbury – who scored his first senior goal in the Carling Cup win at Tottenham – is also in the 18-man squad, along with 20-year-old reserve keeper Wojciech Szczesny, who will provide cover for Lukasz Fabianski. Midfielder Abou Diaby did not travel, having just recovered from an ankle problem.
Captain Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) remains sidelined, along with centre-back Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles), though both could return against Chelsea next weekend.
Strikers Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie (both ankle) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) are all still out, along with Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey (leg).
Partizan captain Mladen Krstajic says the Serbians will be out to make a name for themselves across Europe with victory.
Veteran Krstajic, the 36-year-old defender, believes Alexander Stanojevic’s well-drilled team – who lost their first Group H fixture 1-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk – can produce a performance which would send shockwaves throughout the competition.
“Against Arsenal, we will need to give even more than we produced against Shakhtar,” Krstajic told the Champions League Magazine Show.
“We can’t afford to let our performance level drop, and I hope we will manage to achieve a result that will announce our name throughout Europe.”
Despite his bravado, Krstajic – who faced Shakhtar wearing a special mask to protect a broken nose – knows Arsenal will test Partizan’s resolve, even with Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott missing.
“It is hard to say who their most dangerous player is,” he said.
“Arsene Wenger has a number of good players around 20 years of age.
“I don’t know what line-up they will put out, but all the players will be tough opponents.”
Defenders Ivan Stevanovic and Marko Jovanovic are available again after being suspended against Shakhtar, but right-back Alexander Miljkovic has an ankle injury.
Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Rosicky, Song, Wilshere, Nasri, Arshavin, Chamakh, Szczesny, Vela, Denilson, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs, Lansbury.

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