Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal to win Champions League Group A to give them the best chance of progressing through the knockout stages.
The Gunners face Ludogorets on Wednesday night, having already beaten the Bulgarian minnows 6-0 to sit top of the group, level on points with with PSG.
Wenger’s men have failed to progress past the round of 16 for the last six seasons and the Frenchman feels it is imperative they top the group this time around.
“It’s our prime target to win the group,” he said according to the Daily Mail. “Step by step: qualify first. We have played Paris Saint-Germain away, and play them at home to come. We have a good opportunity tomorrow if we win.
“It is an advantage because you play the second game in the last 16 at home, so you know exactly what you have to achieve at home.
“You have the support. If it goes to extra-time or penalties, you play at home. So it’s a little advantage.
- [Confirmed Lineups] Arsenal v Newcastle United – Wilshere & Lacazette Start In 4-2-3-1
- Lacazette, Ozil & Wilshere All Start In 4-2-3-1 – Arsenal v Newcastle United [Predicted Lineups]
- Wenger “Considering” World-Record Move For Virgil Van Dijk
“But if you can finish first, why finish second? We have paid the price many times when we’ve finished second, having to play Barcelona or Bayern Munich. So we think it’s important.”
Wenger also feels his side’s 6-0 win over Ludogorets at the Emirates flattered his side and says his team must be wary of the threat they possess.
“They are an offensive team, so are we, so you should see two teams trying to go forward,” he added. “The result was flattering for us because we scored many goals. But I don’t forget that we were facing a good attacking Ludogorets team in that first half.
“When the game was very tight, we needed a strong defensive performance to stop them being dangerous because they had many chances as well. We will have to again.”
Victory over Ludogorets is expected of Arsenal and will set them up nicely for what looks like being the group decider, against PSG at the Emirates on November 23.