Dove Magazine

Arsenal cannot afford to slip up in Champions League, says Arsène Wenger

Arsène Wenger has stressed there is absolutely no margin for error, as early as the second match of their Champions League group, with Olympiakos visiting the Emirates.


Having digested a surprise defeat at Dinamo Zagreb on their first outing, and with back-to-back games against Bayern Munich up next, Wenger will not countenance anything other than three points against the Greeks on Tuesday evening.

“You have to win home games if you want to qualify, it is as simple as that,” he said. “We cannot afford to drop points against anybody at home.”

The form guide is not particularly helpful in that regard. Arsenal have won only six out of their last 12 home matches in the Champions League.

“We are now in a position where we do not want to talk too much about the statistics, we just want to win our games and I’m confident we will,” Wenger added.

Arsenal can approach the game with their confidence boosted by a 5-2 victory at Leicester City over the weekend. Francis Coquelin has been training for two days and Wenger is waiting to assess how his knee responds. “He looks alright,” said Wenger.

The other two defensive midfield options are injured, with both Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta suffering slight muscular problems. “They are not big injuries. It is a question of days,” added the manager.

With Olivier Giroud suspended, Theo Walcott has another chance to continue his strong form up front, while Wenger refused to confirm whether he will pick Petr Cech or David Ospina in goal. Team selection will not, though, be influenced by the fact Arsenal face Manchester United at the weekend. “We play Tuesday night, and then Manchester United is on Sunday. That is five days, no problem,” said Wenger. – the guardian-

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