Eduardo set for 'massive season' says Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes this will be a "massive season" for Croatia striker Eduardo.

The centre-forward looks set for a start in tonight's Champions League qualifier second leg against Celtic, with the Gunners boss ready to rest Robin van Persie.

Following the best part of a year out of the game after an horrific leg injury suffered at Birmingham in February 2008, Eduardo opened his account for the new campaign in the 6-1 Barclays Premier League win at Everton on the opening day.

The Gunners boss is glad to have the Brazilian-born Croatian marksman back firing on all cylinders.

"Eduardo was one of the players we missed terribly because he can score goals and provide," said Wenger.

"It is a massive season for Eduardo because he was out for such a long time - he was out before he could prove what a big player he is.

"In the first season for the first six months, he did not play a lot. When he then came in and showed his class, he was then injured and lost a whole season.

"Now he is in the third season, without having the opportunity until now to prove how good he is."

Wenger admitted he was relieved to see the forward back in action.

"I had doubts about his injuries and only fools would say they had no doubt," he reflected.

"When you see his first injury, you had to have doubts, but he has shown his strength of character - and now I have no doubts any more about him because for me he is completely a normal player."

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas will not be fit for tonight's game, which the Gunners lead 2-0.

The Spain international is recovering from a hamstring problem, but scans have revealed only minor damage so he is back in contention to return for Saturday's 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.

Wenger has utilised a fluid 4-3-3 formation 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.

"I rest players who I feel need a rest without considering the game after," said Wenger.

"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."

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all