Football

Wenger keen to secure qualification

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to clinch qualification from Group G of the Champions League on Wednesday night so he can nurse his injury-hit squad through Barclays Premier League fixtures.

The Frenchman launched a broadside at Stoke ahead of the visit of Fenerbahce, accusing Tony Pulis' side of deliberately hurting Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor at the weekend, and the Gunners boss is now hoping for the opportunity to rest some of his bruised stars.

"I believe that once you qualify in the Champions League you can be completely focused and if needed, rest some players in the Champions League," he said.

"That is why for us, it is important to qualify as quickly as possible, especially as we didn't win our last game.

"We had two bad experiences recently and that is why it is important to come back to winning ways and to qualify.

"We have not been efficient recently with our results in the last two games and that is why it is important to come back and win."

With Adebayor and Walcott absent Wenger will turn to Nicklas Bendtner and Robin van Persie as his front pairing against Fenerbahce.

But 19-year-old Mexican Carlos Vela can look forward to getting more Champions League experience under his belt at some point, especially as Wenger feels he is not yet ready for regular league action.

He said: "I believe Carlos is an outstanding striker and will be a top goalscorer as he is one of the best finishers I have seen personally.

"He is 19 and plays at a top club but we believe he needs not to improve his finishing or his technical qualities but to adjust to the combative side of the English game."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
Emmanuel Adebayor
European News
Stoke City
Football
Nicklas Bendtner
Theo Walcott

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