Arsenal are favourites in Champions League group, says Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits his side are likely to be viewed as favourites to win Champions League group B

arsene wenger
Arsene Wenger's side kick off their Champions League campaign at Montpellier

arsene wenger

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal will be favourites to win their Champions League group after the draw was made last week.

The Gunners were pitted against Montpellier, Schalke and Olympiacos in Group B on Thursday after qualifying for the group stage thanks to last season’s third-place finish in the Premier League.

And Wenger believes his side’s greater European experience will inevitably lead to the Gunners being handed the favourites tag as they look to book their place in the last 16 as group winners.

“We will be favourites because we have the biggest experience in this group,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“But we know by experience that the Champions League is the Champions League. Every team is a special occasion, it is always a cup game and you want to be serious and have a good start.

“We start in Montpellier, which is a difficult place with a lot of passion. Certainly there will be a lot of psychological investment for them in this Champions League, so for us it is important of course to be highly focused.

“Many players do not know the passionate atmosphere in the south of France and will be surprised – but we have the experience.”

Wenger added: ‘Schalke are always strong. They are the most popular team in the league with the biggest support, a massive suppor. Historically they are a massive club. Germany is a football nation, so you have no easy games.

“Olympiacos have beaten us convincingly over there and we have underestimated them a little bit [previously].”

The draw has thrown up an immediate return to Montpellier for Gunners new-boy Olivier Giroud – and Wenger admits it will be a “special” occasion for the striker.

“I have not spoken to [Giroud] about it yet. It will certainly be a special occasion for him but what is important is that the team does well. We focus on the game and Giroud does too.”

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