Wenger keen to secure qualification

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The Independent Football

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

The Frenchman launched a broadside at Stoke on the eve of the visit of Fenerbahce, accusing Tony Pulis' side of deliberately hurting Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor at the weekend.

Both were carried to the dressing room during the 2-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium and both miss tonight's match, leaving Wenger angry.

"I read that my team were not brave. All I can say is they are brave and, for me, you need to have more courage to play football when you know that someone is tackling you from behind without any intention to play the ball," said the Frenchman.

"The only intention is to hurt you and I can show some tackles where I can prove what I say.

"Do you think (Rory) Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that (Ryan) Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch. All the players have been injured deliberately."