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Champions League: Arsenal boss has faith in rookie keeper Emiliano Martinez ahead of Anderlecht trip

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he has every confidence in Emiliano Martinez ahead of the rookie goalkeeper’s Champions League debut against Anderlecht.

The 22-year-old will start between the posts in Belgium as the Gunners regular No 1 Wojciech Szczesny is suspended and Colombia international David Ospina is sidelined for up to three months with a recurrence of a thigh injury.

Martinez has made just two Arsenal appearances - in the Carling Cup during late 2012, which included conceding four goals in the first half of a remarkable 7-5 win at Reading – but Wenger believes last season’s loan stint with Sheffield Wednesday will serve as good preparation to face the Belgium league leaders.

"I am extremely confident, because he has experience from Sheffield last year and when he played for us, he did very well. I have no special worry about that," said Wenger.

"He is two years older now (than his last Arsenal match), has a good experience. He has grown in stature as well.

"We have to make sure that we make it as comfortable a night as we can for him, and that is by defending well as a team."

Midfielder Jack Wilshere fully expects Martinez to handle the big occasion after proving himself while on loan.

"He is in our dressing room now so we know him well. He is confident and has grown up quite a lot in the last two years. He learned from Sheffield, playing in a tough league, especially as a foreign keeper," he said.

Confident

"We are see him train every day, what he can do and we are confident he will be ready."

Teenager Ryan Huddart, 17, will be on the bench against Anderlecht.

Wenger revealed concern over the recovery plan for Ospina, who suffered the setback when coming on for Szczesny after the Pole was shown a red card during the second half of Arsenal's 4-1 win over Galatasaray earlier this month.

"Ospina came to us injured after the World Cup, it took him two months to play again," said Wenger.

"I had to bring him on against Galatasaray without a warm up and being prepared, so he had a recurrence of that injury.

"It means he is out for two to three months. Now we have to be really careful because it is a recurrence of a thigh injury, which is very difficult. It is a long-term injury."

England international Calum Chambers will be back in the defence following his one-match suspension on Saturday, when Arsenal needed a stoppage-time equaliser from Danny Welbeck to salvage a 2-2 draw with Hull having again conceded sloppy goals.

Arsenal are under some extra pressure to return from Belgium with a positive result, having lost 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund in the opening group clash.

Wenger said: "We have enough experience to know Anderlecht will be a fierce battle, so let's focus on our performance and if we produce the quality of performance we know we can, then we have a chance to win this game and that is what we want to achieve of course."

Watch Anderlecht v Arsenal live on Sky Sports 2 on Tuesday from 7.30pm


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