Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Wenger: Consistency is key

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has challenged his young Arsenal side to deliver consistency as they look to build on victory over title rivals Chelsea by seeing off Barclays Premier League strugglers Wigan on Wednesday.

The Gunners finally ended their hoodoo against the Blues with a 3-1 triumph at Emirates Stadium which boosted their championship challenge while also casting Carlo Ancelotti's out-of-form side adrift as they now sit down in fifth place.

"The win over Chelsea keeps us in touch with the top teams, and also what is very important as well is that it can strengthen the belief we will have our say in this championship," maintained the Arsenal manager."The most consistent team will make it in the end, and that is what is at stake."

He added: "Let's see if we can turn up with a fantastic performance now on Wednesday night."

There is, though, little time for Arsenal to revel in a first win over Chelsea in six attempts as they head up to the DW Stadium, where they will be without captain Cesc Fabregas after he collected a fifth booking.

With the Gunners three points behind leaders Manchester United, Wenger knows there can be no margin of error.

The Frenchman had indicated he was set to make changes at Wigan in addition to the enforced absence of Fabregas.

Andrey Arshavin was left warming the bench on Monday night, and so could come back into the XI, while Abou Diaby - fit from an ankle problem - is expected to deputise for Fabregas and striker Marouane Chamakh may also start.

Theo Walcott could perhaps consider himself unlucky were he to be among the substitutes again after an impressive display, capped by a ninth goal from 16 appearances.

"It was nice to get in the starting line-up and show the boss what I can do. Hopefully I can stay there now. I just have to play well when I can," said Walcott, who was sidelined for several weeks after suffering an ankle injury when away with England during September.

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