NAL goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski insists he is ready to face Premier League leaders Chelsea after his confidence-boosting display at Partizan Belgrade.
Fabianski could be called on to face the free-scoring Blues, who have netted 21 goals in six league games, if Manuel Almunia fails to recover from an elbow injury by Sunday.
That prospect will leave some Gunners fans uneasy, owing to the Pole’s history of unconvincing recent performances, not least against Wigan and Porto last season.
But Fabianski repaired some of the damage to his reputation with several key saves, including a penalty, in Serbia on Tuesday – a timely fillip ahead of the visit to Stamford Bridge.
“I am ready to play against Chelsea,” he said. “I was always ready, so we will see. I was never really bothered by all the things said. I was always trying to focus on my job and my work. That is what I was always doing and that’s why I am grounded.”
Arsenal lost home and away to Chelsea last season and are desperate to avoid another defeat, which would leave them seven points adrift of the champions.
Manager Arsene Wenger hailed Fabianski’s showing in Belgrade, and the 25-year-old admitted his satisfaction after the 3-1 victory. “I’m not talking about just saves, but reading the game, coming for crosses or playing with my feet,” he said. “Every aspect of goalkeeping is important for me, so I am pleased with my performance.”