Abou Diaby set for spell on sidelines as Arsène Wenger aims for glory
Abou Diaby is almost certain to join Arsenal’s lengthy list of absentees for the Champions League game against Braga on Wednesday night, but Thomas Vermaelen could be in contention following his Achilles injury.
Diaby was awaiting further assessment after being unable to train on Monday because of the ankle injury he picked in a studs-up tackle from Paul Robinson during Saturday’s 4-1 win against Bolton.
Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott are also sidelined, although Arsène Wenger is convinced his squad now has sufficient depth and physical strength to win the Champions League.
It remains the one major trophy to have eluded both Arsenal and Wenger, with the Frenchman admitting that his failure to triumph in Europe has led to several sleepless nights.
“It goes through your head the day before a game and the day after a game,” he said. “I believe we have a good mixture of quality and more experience. You know when you see our team play that they are not tender anymore. We are equipped to win the Champions League.
“Yes it [the Champions League] is missing and we will try to get that right. I believe our group stage is a good test because it is much stronger than it looks. I am keen to start with Braga because they look a handful. They are a fantastic counter-attacking team.”
Cesc Fabregas, meanwhile, has said that his team-mates have faith in Manuel Almunia, whose position has been under scrutiny since Arsenal attempted to buy Mark Schwarzer. “We have a lot of trust,” said Fabregas.