The absence of Didier Drogba will be helpful but not decisive for Arsenal at the weekend, according to Arsène Wenger.
 
The Ivorian striker will not be with Chelsea when they visit Emirates Stadium on Sunday after undergoing knee surgery. For the past couple of seasons Drogba has been arguably the most feared forward in the top flight and already has nine goals to his name this term.
 
"Personally I rate Drogba," admitted Wenger at his pre-match press conference. "He always gave us a hard game and most of the time he was very influential.
 
"Drogba is a fighter until the last second in every game. I admired him especially in the Cup Final last year, where he had not the best of games but in the end he never gave up and made the difference.
 
"But when you can replace him with Andrei Shevchenko you are not too much in misery."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 Dec 2007