Mannone set for 'big challenge'
Arsene Wenger has admitted that Vito Mannone will be under a lot of pressure against Standard Liege.
Last Updated: 16/09/09 12:49pm
Arsene Wenger has admitted that Vito Mannone will be under a lot of pressure when he makes his UEFA Champions League debut on Wednesday evening.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper has made just one appearance for the Gunners but is set to play from the start against Standard Liege in Belgium.
Regular number one Manuel Almunia has not travelled with the rest of the squad due to a virus, while Polish understudy Lukasz Fabianski is still recovering from knee surgery.
Wenger hopes Mannone can handle the occasion and help Arsenal make a winning start to their Group H campaign.
"It is a big challenge for a young boy to come into a Champions League game with such a big pressure, especially away from home," said Wenger.
"When you look at the stadium, it will be quite a difficult atmosphere.
"He's only played one first-team game, but at least he's played one where he's played quite well. I'm confident in him."
19-year-old Pole Wojciech Szczesny will provide cover for Mannone on the substitutes' bench.