Wenger happy to go with youngsters
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsene Wenger has full confidence in Francesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini.Arsene Wenger has full confidence in his midfield duo of Francesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini.
In the absence of Edu, Gilberto Silva and captain Patrick Vieira - Fabregas, 17, and 20-year-old Flamini will be given the task of confronting Chelsea in Sky Sports' Super Sunday showdown.
Wenger insists he has no qualms about playing the two youngsters in the centre of his midfield against The Blues.
"Ideally we would have loved to have had Vieira but we face reality and the reality is we play without him and we want to be strong enough to win the game," said Wenger.
"I have total faith because there are no players who are afraid of big atmospheres.
"Cesc has enough experience to play in such an atmosphere and Flamini is focused on the game.
"You consider everything you want, a system that best suits your players, you consider everything that can bring belief back when you lose a little bit of it.
"The team is back to where we believe we can win games."
Wenger confirmed he had no further injury problems and he expected Freddie Ljungberg to be fit.
"From our last game we have not lost anybody. Lauren is back from suspension and Ljungberg will have a fitness test but at a minimum he will be in the squad and Ashley Cole is also okay," he continued.
Wenger also insisted he had no worries over Thierry Henry.
"He's top scorer in the league and top passer in the league so I don't know where you can fault him," he opined.
"He has always been a fantastic player since the beginning of the season despite some injury niggles. Overall his performances since the beginning of season have been outstanding."
The Arsenal boss would not be drawn into slating his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho and was actually full of praise for his work.
"I am not here to speak about the managerial style of Chelsea," he said.
"Every manager can only be successful in his own way and be faithful to his own personality. You can only make a career with your qualities and have to accept everybody is different.
"I feel he has his own style that is successful and you respect that. Everyone has his own vision about how to do the job and the football he loves and that has to be accepted by everybody.
"I think they were a very good side last year and finished second in front of Man United and were a bit unfortunate to go out in the semi-finals of the Champions League in special circumstances.
"This season is not finished yet but you can already say Chelsea is a better side than last year."