By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is convinced that his team can score goals at Old Trafford tonight – even without Andrey Arshavin.
The Russian playmaker netted four times when Arsenal last headed north for that dramatic draw with Liverpool eight days ago. But someone else will have to convert the chances against Manchester United while Arshavin - ineligible for the Champions League - kicks his heels on the sidelines.
Robin van Persie will also miss out with a groin injury but Wenger still has plenty of attacking options. Emmanuel Adebayor or Nicklas Bendtner could lead the line with Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott supporting in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Alternatively Nasri could reprise the deeper role he filled so admirably during Sunday’s win over Middlesbrough. With Eduardo and Carlos Vela also available, Wenger has plenty to mull over before he finalises his starting line-up.
However, the Frenchman is confident that any of his forwards can add the finishing touch to his side’s attacking thrusts. For Wenger, the crucial element is Arsenal’s team play. If that clicks, the chances will come. If the chances come, the away goals will follow.
“We have developed well our team play and that is the most important thing,” said the manager.
“One day Arshavin scores four goals, another day somebody else will score. What is most important is that we play the game we want to play and if we can take advantage of that.
“Adebayor is fully fit and he is important, like everybody else. A lot of strikers depend on the quality of the team play and that’s why you do not want to put any special pressure on the strikers. It’s down to the way the team plays.
“Of course we know Theo can score a goal too but it’s not predictable. I don’t mind who score the goals. The most important thing is that we score goals.”Copyright 2013 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 29 Apr 2009