Wenger insists only injury has wrecked their defensive plans.
"Overall I feel we have stabilised our defence. But it was a blow to lose Mertesacker, personally. He is a good reader of the game, a calming influence and we have to reshuffle now our defence. To lose Santos and Gibbs together - we have lost so many players.
"(But) to feel sorry for ourselves would be criminal. We have a good opportunity (on Sunday) to show that we have character, that we have the mental qualities to play for this club and let's go for it," said Wenger.