Stojkovic - Arsenal weakened
Partizan keeper Vladimir Stojkovic believes Arsenal will be significantly weakened without Cesc Fabregas.
Last Updated: 28/09/10 9:47am
Partizan Belgrade goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic believes Arsenal will be significantly weakened without captain Cesc Fabregas.
The Gunners are in Serbia to face Partizan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, having started with a 6-0 demolition of Braga in their opening group game.
But Arsenal will be without midfield maestro Fabregas, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury picked up against Sunderland earlier in the month.
Arsenal put in a poor display during their 3-2 defeat to West Brom at the weekend, when goalkeeper Manuel Almunia once more cut a forlorn figure between the sticks for Arsene Wenger's men.
Partizan shot-stopper Stojkovic, 27, believes the Gunners do have problems at the back, but says the absence of Fabregas will be a huge loss.
"We've watched Arsenal's last few matches and they really have changed," he said in The Sun.
"They have problems in defence and in goal.
"But their biggest problem is the absence of Fabregas. He's a basic element in their team and they miss him.
"So I would rather face Arsenal now than in two months' time when he has recovered from his hamstring trouble.
"They are in a bad spell right now and we need to profit from this."
Stojkovic, formerly of Wigan, refused to criticise Almunia, who will not play in Belgrade due to injury, and insists he is a good goalkeeper.
He added: "It can be very hard being a keeper.
"I've suffered moments like Almunia did against West Brom and know how he feels. But he's a good player and we are confident in his absence."