Lukas Podolski backed to lead the attack for Arsenal by Arsene Wenger

The Gunners play already relegated QPR this weekend

Lukas Podolski has all the attributes needed to successfully lead the Arsenal attack, according to manager Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners must again do without 17-goal hitman Olivier Giroud when they travel to relegated QPR for tomorrow's late afternoon kick-off as the Frenchman continues his three-match ban.

German Podolski was preferred down the middle to Theo Walcott against Manchester United last Sunday, when it was the England forward who fired the home side ahead inside two minutes before the new Barclays Premier League champions recovered to draw.

Overall, though, Podolski produced a solid display, if without any real chances to add to his 14 goals and was replaced by Gervinho for the closing stages.

Wenger accepts he has a tactical decision to make again this weekend, but feels Podolski, signed from Cologne in the summer, has what it takes to play in a central role.

"It believe so, he has the qualities because he is a good finisher," Wenger said of Podolski, who is reported to be set for surgery on his troublesome ankle at the end of the season.

"He has a good technique and because we have a game based on very quick combinations I believe he can be a part of that. Overall I am convinced in the coming games he will show it.

"A definite decision has not been made, but if there is an opportunity then there is a good chance I will do it."

Wenger feels collectively the team deserves credit for continuing to maintain an attacking threat, with 99 goals from 50 games in all competitions this season, despite the departure of talisman forward Robin van Persie for United last summer.

"You want to know that you can score at least two goals in every game because it gives you a good belief," the Gunners boss said.

"Overall, and considering we lost a world-class striker, I believe we have compensated quite well."

Walcott, meanwhile, feels he has already laid a claim to be deployed down the middle.

The 24-year-old is Arsenal's leading scorer with 19 in all competitions - which included hat-tricks against Reading and Newcastle.

The pacy England international hopes to make the most of any more opportunities which come his way.

"I played a few games there and I would like a few more towards the end of the season," Walcott said.

"I scored a lot of my goals this season when playing up front, so I have shown what I can do and it is up to the manager to do what he sees is best.

"I am sure another chance will come.

"I set a 20-goal target for the season, but the biggest goal for me is to help Arsenal finish third or fourth."

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is still sidelined by a rib problem but, other than long-term absentees such as midfielder Abou Diaby, Wenger expects to have a full squad for the run-in, his team on an unbeaten eight-match run which has taken them back into the top four of the Premier League, a point behind Chelsea and two ahead of Tottenham, albeit having played a match more.

"It is a good position. We have done well recently," Wenger said.

"Maybe we benefit from the fact there is only one game per week, so the squad is a bit more stable injury-wise."

PA

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence