By Chris Harris
 
Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal would have "a few more points" had their strikers not spent so long on the sidelines this season.
 
Robin van Persie is back in the squad for Wednesday's North London derby but the Dutchman has endured a five-month lay-off after suffering ankle ligament damage in November.
 
His absence was exacerbated by an injury to Nicklas Bendtner at the end of October which sidelined the Dane for nearly three months, forcing Andrey Arshavin - now injured himself - into an unfamiliar central role for a sizeable chunk of the season.
 
Arsenal have just about kept pace with the Premier League leaders despite their injury woes but Wenger suspects that his team might be looking down on the rest of the top flight if they had kept their strikers fit for longer.
 
"If you look at our goalscoring record, it has gone down when our strikers have been injured," said Wenger at his pre-match press conference.
 
"But I am as well proud that we are still in the fight despite all the injured players we have had throughout the whole season.
 
"It is difficult to say what would have happened had they not been injured. But I am confident we would have a few more points."

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 13 Apr 2010