Wenger confident experience will see Arsenal through

Arsene Wenger is not letting the pressure get to him ahead of the Champions League play-off tie with Udinese.

Arsene Wenger denied he is feeling the pressure as his side prepare to take on Udinese in the second leg of their Champions League play-off tonight.

Arsenal have made a poor start to the English Premier League season, failing to score a goal in either of their two games, leaving them with only a point to their name

Yesterday, as they prepared to depart for Italy, the club confirmed a deal had been reached with Manchester City for Samir Nasri to leave, making the Frenchman the second big departure this month after Cesc Fabregas's move to Barcelona.

But Wenger denied he felt under siege, with problems on and off the pitch, ahead of a game in which his have a one-goal lead from last week's first leg at the Emirates Stadium.

Of the pressure, he said: "I believe that's part of my job. I'm not at all destabilised by that.

"Overall, my job is to give my best to do well for my club and that's what I do with complete belief in the team and the players I have available.

"I think that's the best opportunity to show as well that we are good enough to fight for this club."

Wenger will be able to watch tonight's game from the touchline after Uefa agreed to defer his two-match ban to allow an appeal to be made.

Arsenal appealed against the ban given to Wenger for breaking the terms of an earlier suspension during the first leg of their tie last week.

Arsenal had immediately indicated their intention to appeal, but decided to initially seek a delay to the ban before contesting it fully.

A Uefa statement said: "The Uefa appeals body has granted a stay of execution to the appeal lodged earlier today by Arsenal FC and their manager Arsene Wenger.

"The appeals body will take a decision in due time, but not before Arsenal's Uefa Champions League game against Udinese Calcio in Italy on Wednesday."

Wenger is aware his side need to put in an assured display at the back if they are to get the better of their Serie A opponents.

"They're quick on the flanks, so I think we have to keep them quiet, especially [Mauricio] Isla on the right side, who's a provider," he said yesterday. "In midfield, of course, they have some good players, and [Antonio] Di Natale up front. So, overall, we need a good, solid defensive performance. But we have experience in the Champions League and that's a good way to use it."

Wenger revealed Jack Wilshere, the England midfielder, has suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury and is unlikely to feature.

On a brighter note for Wenger, Tomas Rosicky is in the squad after overcoming a thigh problem, as is Johan Djourou (hamstring) and Armand Traore (groin).

Laurent Koscielny will not play after suffering a back injury against Liverpool at the weekend but could be fit to face Manchester United on Sunday at Old Trafford.

Tonight's other Champion League ties see the French side Lyon hold a 3-1 advantage as they travel to Rubin Kazan, the Russian club, while Benfica, the Portuguese side, will start the night all square at 2-2 with their Dutch visitors Twente.

Viktoria Plzen, the Czech Republic side, have a strong chance of reaching the group stages of the competition for the first time in their history, as they have a 3-1 advantage to take into the home leg of their tie with Copenhagen.

Bate Borisov, the Belarusian side, have an away goal in their favour as they start tonight's game with Sturm Graz, the Austrian side, level at 1-1.

The draw for the group stages of the Champions League is on Friday.

Published: August 24, 2011 04:00 AM


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