Ramsey ready to hurt Olympiacos

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Football News

Arsene Wenger is hoping Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey can hit Olympiacos "where it hurts" in tonight's Champions League Group H clash.

The 18-year-old Wales international is set to be Arsenal's main playmaker at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, with captain Cesc Fabregas one of several first-team regulars left behind as safe passage into the knockout stages has already been secured prior to the final group fixture.

"Ramsey is just 18, but is quite ahead for his age because he already plays in the Wales national team and is at a top-level club," said the Arsenal manager.

"He has spirit, and something that is very interesting, he is an efficient player, gets in the box at the right moment and is a penetrating player.

"He is not a guy who goes right across the pitch - Ramsey goes where it hurts, and when he gets there, he is a good finisher."

The average age of Wednesday night's squad is 20 - and that has been raised by the inclusion of 32-year-old defender Mikael Silvestre, while fit-again England forward Theo Walcott and Cameroon midfielder Alex Song, who was suspended for Saturday's Barclays Premier League win over Stoke, also travelled to Athens.

However, it is the inclusion of reserve-team captain Kyle Bartley, set to play at centre-half, as well as 18-year-olds Craig Eastmond, Luke Ayling and Tom Cruise - the left-back who has yet to make an Arsenal first-team appearance of any form, even in the Carling Cup - which will have left Wenger open to criticism.

Wenger is only interested in the London-born defender and not his Hollywood namesake.

"I do not care about headlines - for me, there is only one Tom Cruise, and it is the one who plays for Arsenal Football Club," he said.

"I believe he is a very good footballer, but I would not like him to be under too much pressure.If you are in his boots, you would not think for a second that you will play in the Champions League. So it is good for him and the others to get an opportunity in these games."

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

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Stoke City
Tom Cruise
Aaron Ramsey
Kyle Bartley
League Cup
Mikael Silvestre
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Marvin Bartley
Theo Walcott

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