Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is backing Gabriel to handle the pressure of the North London derby.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday that Koscielny will be missing from Arsenal’s crunch clash with fierce rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane due to a calf injury.

“[Derbies suit] a defender that is a fighter because they are winners,” Koscielny told Arsenal Player. “Gabby wants to win all his duels and help his team win the game.

“It will be his first north London derby, but he will have played a derby in Spain or Brazil so he knows what it is like and will give himself to win the game. It is more than a year that he has lived in England, and he knows his team-mates better now.

“We are happy with Gabriel, he has done a good job with his pace, determination and he wins his duels. It is very important to have a player like this in your squad.

“I think he has improved well. He is starting to speak English so this is good. He is more confident on the pitch and outside the pitch.”

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