Arsenal can cope without Fabregas insists Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains his young Gunners can cope without injured captain Cesc Fabregas against Celtic tomorrow night and secure a place in the lucrative group stage of the Champions League.

The Spain international is recovering from a hamstring problem, on which scans have revealed only minor damage and puts him back in contention to return for Saturday's Barclays Premier League showdown at Manchester United.

Czech winger Tomas Rosicky is training again following his injury lay-off, and also may be included this weekend.

However, before the Gunners will look to extend their 100% domestic start, there is the small matter of the return leg of their European tie, when Arsenal defend a 2-0 lead.

Wenger has utilised a fluid 4-3-3 formation this season to great effect, with Fabregas flanked by defensive cover.

Wales youngster Aaron Ramsey replaced Fabregas at half-time against Portsmouth on Saturday, when he netted his first league goal, while Abou Diaby also laid down his own marker with a brace in the 4-1 win.

"Cesc's scan was quite reassuring," revealed Wenger.

"He has no muscular strain, but it will take a few days to settle down. There is a chance he will be fit for Old Trafford."

The Arsenal manager continued: "I rest players who I feel need a rest without considering the game after.

"My target is to win tomorrow's game, it's a massive game for us and after that we will see what we do for the weekend.

"It is not job done, it is job to do, to finish. That is how I approach it.

"Celtic have no choice - they will have to come out and have a go at us.

"We will be faithful to our tactical approach and will try to put them under pressure, play very high up and try to win the game."

Wenger insists there will be no sense of complacency tomorrow night, even though the odds are stacked against the Scottish side.

"We know there is so much at stake for us. I do not think we are in danger of easing off at all," he said.

"We know how quickly football can change and that makes it interesting as well."

The Gunners boss insisted: "For the success of our season, to be strong at the Emirates is vital.

"Any time you show any weakness at home, it can have big consequences for the rest of the season."

Despite the loss of Arsenal's playmaker, Wenger sees no reason why he should necessarily tinker with tactics.

"I still have the personnel who can come in," the Gunners boss said.

"It is another chance for Ramsey. It is a big season for him.

"However, do not forget he is only 18.

"I believe his target for this year, I told him before the season, is between 15 and 20 games.

"The way he is developing, he could get that."

Wenger is closely monitoring the transfer market ahead of the September 1 deadline, although the Arsenal manager maintains no signings are imminent and denied a deal had already been done for St Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

"We have still one week left," said Wenger.

"The only thing I can tell you is that at the moment we are not close to signing anybody."

However, the future of centre-back Philippe Senderos, who was in talks with Everton, remains unclear.

"If he has not moved before August 31, then he will be considered as any other player in the squad," said Wenger.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album