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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 11, 2006

Wenger confident of dual success

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal are heading into the unknown as their season draws to an exciting conclusion.

The Gunners travel to Portsmouth on Wednesday night with no room for error if they are to force their way back into the top four of the Premiership.

However, it is not only on the domestic front where Wenger's fast-emerging side must continue to produce, as they are also chasing European glory having reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time, where they will meet Spanish club Villarreal.

The first hurdle, though, is to secure victory over Harry Redknapp's relegation battlers in tonight's re-arranged game.

A win would close the gap on Tottenham to just two points, with the final north-London derby at Highbury on April 22 clearly taking on extra significance.

And Wenger has every confidence his squad can now compete equally at home and in Europe.

'I feel we can combine both,' the Arsenal boss said.

'We can do very well in the Champions League and finish fourth.

'Both are massive challenges. We have never been in this position before, either in the Champions League or the championship.'

Wenger is set to recall veteran England defender Sol Campbell tonight.

The 31-year-old will start in favour of the rested Philippe Senderos on the ground where he scored the only goal in Arsenal's 1-0 victory in December 2004.

Captain Thierry Henry is set to return to the first XI after coming off the bench during Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

However, young midfielder Cesc Fabregas will not feature as a precaution after aggravated a foot injury.

With such a hectic end-of-season run-in as the Gunners chase both relative domestic success and Champions League glory, Wenger knows he will have to rotate his squad.

'I cannot play them all, but they know that as well,' the Arsenal boss said.

'You know when you go into the semi-finals of the Champions League and going for points in the Premiership there is only one thing that can get you through - the squad.

'More than ever in the next three-and-a-half weeks, it is about the success of the squad.'

Wenger is convinced his young side can produce a positive reaction to defeat at Old Trafford.

'I feel there were a lot of positives from the game and we should react in a positive way,' the Arsenal manager said.

'It looks to me that it has not affected their belief at all.'

While United continue to chase down leaders Chelsea, at the other end of the table Pompey are out to pull clear of the relegation zone.

Redknapp's men have been in decent form of late, going unbeaten in four matches, and are always a tough proposition when cheered on by their passionate home support.

Wenger observed: 'Recently Harry has found a good mixture and he deserves credit because he has done what was unexpected at one stage.'

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