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Saturday, October 2, 2010
Wenger believes Arsenal can combat Chelsea strength

ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsene Wenger does not believe a lack of physical strength will be a major disadvantage when Arsenal travel to Chelsea on Sunday.

Wenger: Not a decisive game

Chelsea vs Arsenal preview
Papers: Arsene's day of reckoning

Arsenal have won just two of their last 17 meetings with Chelsea, losing home and away last season, and it has been argued that the Gunners have been consistently outmuscled in the encounters.

However, Wenger, who is set to be without Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Vermaelen, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Manuel Almunia for the encounter, believes his players have enough quality to gain victory at Stamford Bridge.

"What for you is physical strength? How can you explain Spain winning the World Cup and Barcelona beating Chelsea in the Champions League? Football is not only down to physique," he said. "It is down to intelligence, technique, mobility.

"There is not one way. That is what makes it interesting."

Didier Drogba in particular has enjoyed plenty of success against Arsenal over the years, scoring 12 goals in ten games, but Wenger said: "I feel we should not make an obsession of one player of Chelsea because they have a few players who can score goals against us.

"What is important is that we had the ball, that we dominate the game and that we are efficient defensively. Nothing is forever, so we can stop it."

Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins has revealed Chelsea, who suffered their first defeat of the Premier League season against Manchester City last weekend, will be looking to dominate the game physically.

"The Manchester City game was exactly the same as last year in that we didn't compete as well as we should have done," he said. "We did not compete in a physical sense - that is why we lost the game last year and for me that is why we lost the game this year, and that is not like us.

"I thought City's Nigel De Jong was the best player on the pitch and they took us by surprise and should not have done, but that will not happen again. We have to find the happy medium between strength, power, the physical side of stuff as well as playing football.

"That is what the Premier League requires. We must make sure we are up there in every aspect throughout the season. You have to be ready for the physical side and combat it. We didn't combat that against Manchester City and we lost. Some you days you play poorly. It is just human nature.''




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