Arsene Wenger has confirmed Wojciech Szczesny will miss Arsenal’s game against Manchester City on Sunday with an ankle injury.
The Polish shotstopper only returned to action for the Gunners in the 6-1 win over Southampton last weekend after missing two games due to a rib injury, but now faces up to three weeks on the sidelines with an ankle problem.
Vito Manonne will deputise for Szczesny for Arsenal's trip to the Etihad Stadium this weekend having stepped in for the Champions League tie against Montpellier on Tuesday, and Wenger believes the 24-year-old is up to job of keeping the Premier League champions out.
"Football is down to competition and performances,” he said. “It is a good opportunity for Mannone to show the quality that I believe he has.
“The games, up until now, indicate he has too. If he keeps doing well it is a good opportunity for him."
Having spent last season on loan at Hull following a calamitous display in Arsenal's 3-1 Champions League defeat against Olympiakos last year, Mannone kept clean sheets against both Stoke and Liverpool in Szcesny's absence to put him in the frame for the number one jersey.
Arsenal go into the game against City buoyed by the convincing wins against Southampton and Montpellier which came after their 2-0 victory over Liverpool, and Wenger believes they can carry that form into the game against Roberto Mancini’s men.
"What gives the extra edge is that at the moment the championship is very tight. It's the beginning of the championship and that you know that this game can have a big influence on the belief of both teams.
"So who will have the upper hand has a psychological advantage. So on that front it's a very exciting game. It's very early in the season but already very important for me. When we play now Man City, we see always many known faces against us. We are used to it now.
"I have no doubt about the desire and hunger of my squad. It will just tell you how strong we are at the moment. I believe we are quite strong but we have some room for improvement. All is not perfect but the signs we are giving are very good and very strong.
"The hunger is massive in this squad. They want to do well. They are focused. They want to win. We want to, of course, because we have many new players, continue to improve. It's a big test as well to see how strong we are."
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