Arsene Wenger hails ‘ambitious’ Arsenal ahead of crucial games

Arsene Wenger hails the focused attitude of his Arsenal players as they gear up for a testing run of games, starting at Napoli

arsene wenger
Arsene Wenger's side are top of the Premier League table Photo: Back Page Images

Arsene Wenger has hailed the focused attitude of his Arsenal players as they gear up for a testing run of games.

The Premier League leaders travel to Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday night looking for a win to cement their place at the top of Group F, before travelling to Manchester City on Saturday.

Wenger’s men, who are five points clear at the top of the table, then host Chelsea in their final league game before Christmas.

And the Frenchman believes that the positive start his side have made to the season is largely down to his players’ determination.

“We have a good defensive record, and we have a good offensive record as well,” said Wenger.

“The attitude of the players for me is absolutely focused and ambitious, and that is what pleases me very much, because that shows that the players want to do well until the end of the season.”

Napoli are likely to come out all guns blazing against the north Londoners, with the Serie A side needing a 3-0 win or to better Borussia Dortmund’s result against Marseille to progress to the last 16.

And Wenger knows that his side are in for a testing encounter against Rafael Benitez’s men, despite the Gunners’ convincing 2-0 win in the reverse fixture.

“Benitez is experienced and a very intelligent manager and I know that he will prepare his team well,” said the Arsenal boss.

“The only way we can counter that is for us to be at out best and put in a good performance, because an average performance will not be good enough tomorrow.”

Arsenal v Napoli: Pre-match facts

• Napoli have won both of their home games, having begun with a 2-1 victory against Dortmund and beaten Marseille 3-2 on matchday four.

• Arsenal are in the group stage for the 16th season in a row and have qualified for the second phase 13 years in succession.

• Rafael Benítez guided Liverpool to a 5-3 aggregate win against Arsenal in the 2007-08 quarter-finals, drawing 1-1 away before a 4-2 home win.

• Napoli are still unbeaten in six home games in the competition, winning five and drawing 1-1 with Bayern Munich on 18 October 2011.

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