Arsenal forward Joel Campbell has labeled the match against Olympiacos the ‘most important game of the season’ and has called for his teammates to be fully prepared ahead of Wednesday’s showdown (via Arsenal.com). Arsenal head into the game needing a big win to keep their Champions League campaign on track, and Campbell, who opened the scoring against Sunderland, is no doubt looking to help his team take the victory in Greece.
The Costa Rican actually spent a season on loan at Olympiacos, and is thus somewhat familiar with the environment at the stadium. This will come in handy as we expect him to retain his starting spot on the left wing following his decent showing against the Black Cats.
He doesn’t sound hugely confident about our chances though, and speaking to Arsenal Player, Campbell said, “[The win over Sunderland] was a good result for the team. We got the result and that’s what we wanted. Now we have to prepare mentally and physically for Wednesday’s game because it will be very difficult.
“We already played against Olympiacos at Emirates Stadium. They are a great team, a great rival and especially because they play at home. In the Pireo (Karaiskakis Stadium) it is very difficult to get points but it is the last game of the group stage and we will give our best.
“It is the most important game of the season so far. It will be a cup final and we have to win to continue in the Champions League.”
While the return of Theo Walcott has bolstered the side somewhat, Arsenal are still a team struggling to deal with the absence of several quality players. The inability of the manager to rotate the squad – coupled with the long trip to and from Greece – is a big problem but it is one that we need to face and overcome if we want to keep our European dreams alive.
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To that end, players like Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil need to step up and lead from the front, while the defence needs to get itself back on track. The main responsibility will be on the attackers however, since they are the ones who will be expected to score the goals that we need to qualify.