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Arsenal boss Wenger: Only one Tom Cruise!

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is confident Tom Cruise can handle his senior chance tonight against Olympiacos.

The average age of Wednesday's squad is just 20, at that has been raised by the inclusion of 32-year-old veteran defender Mikael Silvestre, while fit-again England forward Theo Walcott and Cameroon midfielder Alex Song, who was suspended for Saturday's Barclays Premier League win over Stoke, have also travelled.

However, it is the inclusion of reserve-team captain Kyle Bartley, set to play at centre-half, as well as 18-year-olds Craig Eastmond, Luke Ayling and Cruise - the left-back who has yet to make an Arsenal first-team appearance of any form, even the Carling Cup - which will have left Wenger open to criticism of perhaps not giving the European fixture the respect it deserves.

Nevertheless, the Arsenal manager maintains the glamorously named teenager - part of last season's triumphant FA Youth Cup team - is ready for his first-team bow at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

Wenger declared: "I do not care about headlines - for me, there is only one Tom Cruise, and it is the one who plays for Arsenal Football Club.

"I believe he is a very good footballer, but I would not like him to be under too much pressure.

"If you are in his boots, you would not think for a second that you will play in the Champions League.

"So it is good for him and the others to get an opportunity in these games."

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Tribal Football Staff

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