Wenger has confidence in Fabianski

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.”