Football

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Wenger: Win strengthens belief

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Arsene Wenger expects Arsenal to be flooded with self-belief following their stunning 2-1 Champions League victory over Barcelona.

The Gunners have embarked on a schedule of four games in four different competitions across 11 days with Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round tie against Leyton Orient the next assignment.

Wenger believes that a side containing eight starters aged 25 or under can only benefit from their heroics at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, and said: "I'm very proud for Arsenal FC. Everyone urged us to play differently to our nature. This win can strengthen belief in our philosophy, which is more important than pride."

He added: "It was a special night for my team. Our players showed exceptional strength and togetherness. The victory will reinforce that.

"The age of the team which started is very, very young. What we can do at this age is very promising for the future and our target is to keep them together.

"We have the FA Cup on Sunday and that competition is very different. In England you have to be focused for these kind of things."

Theo Walcott is expected to recover from a mild hamstring problem in time to face Orient.

"We have a little concern about Walcott's hamstring but it should be all right," Wenger told Arsenal TV online.

Centre back Johan Djourou is sidelined for the trip to east London after suffering a back problem at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

Right-back Bacary Sagna is available after being suspended against Barcelona but midfielder Abou Diaby is still banned while striker Marouane Chamakh will return to the squad after missing out against Barcelona.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
European News
Football
Marouane Chamakh
Johan Djourou
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Bacary Sagna
FA Cup
Leyton Orient
Theo Walcott

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