Arsenal goal keeper Wojciech Szczesny has challenged his team to seal victory at Napoli and finish top of their Champions’ League group to increase their chances of a favourable knockout phase draw.
The Gunners look set to book their place in the knockout phase, with Napoli needing to beat Arsene Wenger’s men by a 3-0 score line to progress at the north Londoners expense.
The Polish international has warned that Arsenal can ill afford to rest on their laurels and wants the north Londoners to go for the victory in Italy.
Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said:
I think it’s important to finish top.
This year as well most of the big boys are top of their groups so coming on top of our group will give us probably a better draw in the last 16.
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I don’t think we should approach the game thinking that we need to avoid a defeat. We believe that we’re good enough to go there and get a win. We don’t need to change our attitude, we need to keep it going the way we have been and that should give us a result.
It’s a Champions League fixture which is always enjoyable, you’re always up for it. I don’t think there will be any problems with our approach to the game.
The 23 year old who had a front row view of Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over the Naples team in October says he is expecting a tougher test this time around. He added:
I think in the first half-hour [of the first Napoli game] we were frightening. I never touched the ball so that should tell you a lot.
But then again it will be a completely different game now, they play at home, they know they need to win, so they will probably throw everything at us and we’re going to have to be focused to deal with that. But I believe we can turn up with the same sort of result again.
When the Champions League draw was announced Group F was touted as the group of death and it’s definitely living up to the expectation as no team has yet qualified to the knock out phase with 3 teams still in contention for the 2 spots. There are lot of permutations on who will qualify but all Arsenal need is a point from today’s game to top the group, but even if they lose they shouldn’t go down by more than 3 goals.
Arsenal have been in excellent form so far this season and have only lost once away from home and the prospects of them losing by more than 3 goals looks unrealistic but the Gunners should sincerely try and get something from the game to sit at the top of the group to avoid playing a big team in the round of 16.
Sometimes finishing second in the group is not bad, but this year it is a lot different. Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid sit at the top of their groups and have either won their groups or are very close to. Hopefully Arsenal will get something out of the game today and stay at the top of the group.
Can Arsenal finish at the top of the group? Share your thoughts in the comments below.