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.