Gunners skipper backs 'well-loved' 'keeper

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Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas maintains goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has the complete trust of the team as they look to mount a double challenge for domestic and European honours.

The Gunners have kicked off the Barclays Premier League season with three wins from four games to sit two points behind Chelsea. Almunia's position as first choice was the subject of much speculation over the summer, as Arsenal had bids for Fulham's Australia international Mark Schwarzer turned down.

Fabregas said: "Manuel commanded the defence very well at Blackburn - but it is not just about one game or two or three. He is a well-loved player among everybody here and performs well for this club. We all wish him a super season and have a lot of trust."

Wenger saw Abou Diaby (leg) added to the injury list on Saturday following what looked a bad tackle from Bolton defender Paul Robinson, which went unpunished, and resulted in the midfielder, who had only just come on, having to be substituted.

Winger Samir Nasri - fit again following knee surgery - will return into contention to face Braga in the Gunners' Champions League opener after being an unused substitute.

Wenger chose to rest both full-backs Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna for the Premier League game. England international Kieran Gibbs, who turns 21 later this month, believes the competition for places can only be positive.

"It is difficult to play the same team through all of the season because players are going to get tired - that is when we start to get injuries," Gibbs told Arsenal TV Online.

"It is good for people to get a chance.

"Not only is the competition going to be good for Gael to play well, it is also going to be good for the club as well because we are both fighting to win help the team win something this year."

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Premier League
Manuel Almunia
UEFA Champions League
Francesc Fabregas

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