Wenger ignores Adebayor's Fabregas claims

Arsene Wenger insists his preparations for tomorrow's north London derby will not be affected by Emmanuel Adebayor's claims that Cesc Fabregas could leave Arsenal.

Former Arsenal striker Adebayor said today he believes Fabregas could leave if the Gunners fail to secure Champions League football next term.

The Arsenal captain has long been linked with a return to Barcelona, where he began his career.

Adebayor left the Gunners to join Manchester City in a £25million deal this summer and infuriated Arsenal fans by running the length of the pitch to celebrate scoring against them last month.

Wenger says he does not have time for Adebayor and insists his comments will not prove a distraction ahead of tomorrow's clash with Tottenham.

"Frankly, I'm not really bothered about what he says," Wenger said. "Why should I react to quotes that may not even be accurate?

"What is important for me is that we play well tomorrow. For the rest, we have to live with what people say but it is not really important.

"Nobody knows what's happening next week so why should you speculate or worry about statements of that calibre? They are not anything realistic, it's just talk."

Wenger goes into tomorrow's match at Emirates Stadium with an almost exemplary record against Tottenham.

The Frenchman's only defeat against Spurs since taking charge came in the 2008 Carling Cup semi-final.

Both Robbie Keane and Ledley King have insisting their Spurs squad is stronger than Arsenal's.

But Wenger insists he will not be drawn into any mind games and maintains his squad are focused on tomorrow's match.

"We want to win tomorrow and the fact it is a derby gives us a little bit extra special motivation for everybody to win," Wenger, whose side sit one place above Spurs in the league table, said.

"But when the game starts it will be just down to the quality of the display no matter how much other psychological involvement there is in the game.

"I believe that we are in a strong position in every competition we play in and for us it's a good opportunity.

"I have a strong belief in them and I believe we have the wanted strengths to win the championship.

"Don't forget that we have a game in hand, so the table doesn't reflect completely the reality and for us it's a good opportunity to get into a stronger position in the league and that's what we will try to achieve."

Wenger will be without Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky while Samir Nasri will start on the bench after making his return to action from a broken leg in midweek.

One player who Wenger believes will make an impression is Andrei Arshavin, who will be playing his first north London derby since signing for Arsenal in February.

"Arshavin can change any game, anywhere at any moment so I believe he will have a great game tomorrow," Wenger said.

"He is a player I love, not only because he is talented but because he is efficient. I am confident he will have a big impact on the game tomorrow."

Wenger looks set to replace Vito Mannone with Manuel Almunia in goal.

Almunia has been available for Arsenal's last two matches since recovering from a chest infection but Wenger has chosen to stick with the 21-year-old Mannone.

Wenger revealed that Almunia, 32, is desperate to start tomorrow.

"A player who is on the bench wants to play, that is of course always the same. The job of a professional football player is to perform when he plays and when he doesn't play to do everything to play again," said Wenger.