|Attempts on target||72||21|
|Attempts off target||44||27|
|B||Man. United||CSKA Moskva|
Buoyed by a run of eleven games without defeat in all competitions, Arsenal FC's French international midfielder Abou Diaby says confidence is high going into their Group H contest with AZ Alkmaar on Matchday 4.
Saturday's 3-0 home win over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur FC was the latest positive result for Arsène Wenger's side, who stand to book their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a victory on Wednesday. "The quality is there, the spirit is there. We have a great squad," said Diaby, an ever-present in the Gunners' midfield in Europe this season. "It is up to us now to show in every game that we are a great team. If we do, I am sure we will win something at the end of the season."
For the immediate future, Diaby and his team-mates are looking no further than the return contest with Ronald Koeman's Dutch champions, who grabbed a 1-1 home draw two weeks ago with an added-time equaliser from David Mendes da Silva. "We want to win the game because if we do, we qualify," Diaby said. "We also want to finish top of the group, so it is a very important game against a good team. We are all really focused on it, and our confidence is high."
Signed from AJ Auxerre in January 2006, Diaby has had to bide his time before establishing himself in the heart of Arsenal's midfield, but with Denilson injured he is making the most of his opportunity. "I have had difficult times with injuries. But that's in the past. I'm trying to be focused on the future. I think mentally I am stronger because I had a lot of problems in the past."
Wenger is delighted with Diaby's form though he indicated that the 23-year-old remains a work in progress. "He has done extremely well. He gives us a good mixture. Before, we were often criticised that we were easily intimidated. But he is strong, quick, versatile and good in the air. Sometimes, however, he needs to be a bit more controlled. He is attracted like a magnet to the opposition goal. I know he would like to play further forward, but I think in the future he will play a deeper role, just in front of the defence."
Diaby, scorer of three Premier League goals this term, makes no secret of his striking instincts. "I used to play behind the strikers at academy level when I was young. Everyone likes to score goals, I like to go forward – sometimes after training I work on my finishing. If I find myself in front of the keeper, I want to make sure I score."
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