Arsene Wenger backs back-up defenders to shine at Newcastle

The Arsenal manager has stated that he has confidence in the abilities of Calum Chambers and Gabriel.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed back-up central defensive pairing Calum Chambers and Gabriel to shine in today’s clash against Newcastle on the club’s official website.

With Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny both struggling for availability, the fringe figures are set to start in the heart of the Gunners’ defence against Steve McClaren’s men.

The pair did not cover themselves in glory in the first 45 minutes of the North London club’s 0-0 draw against Liverpool on Monday night, with Chambers in particular looking shaky against the Reds’ attack.

Despite the fact that the former Southampton youngster had a tough time of it against Christian Benteke and was guilty of giving the ball away, Wenger has stated that the England international has the ability to excel on Tyneside.

“Both [Chambers and Gabriel] have the potential to play at the top, top level,” Wenger is quoted as saying by the club’s official website.

“Chambers had a difficult start but he has shown his mental strength.

"I know he’s a great player and he has shown that if even if things don’t start as well as you would like, he can stabilise his game and respond. He has a great mental strength on top of his talent. Gabriel has shown great talent as well and has done very well.”

Newcastle will hope to take advantage of the missing duo and put pressure on Chambers and test him, especially in the early moments of the game.

Both sides are need of points after underwhelming starts to the new campaign, with Arsenal only having four points so far and Newcastle just two.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch