Arsene Wenger sets Arsenal Champions League targets
Arsene Wenger insists that Arsenal are well-equipped to deal with the intimidating atmosphere that awaits them at Napoli
Arsene Wenger insists that Arsenal are well-equipped to deal with the intimidating atmosphere that awaits them at Napoli on Wednesday.
The Gunners look set to book their place in the Champions League last 16, with Napoli needing to win by a 3-0 scoreline to progress at the north Londoners’ expense.
Wenger’s men will top Group F if they win against the Serie A side, but the Frenchman insists that qualification for the knockout phase should be their first priority, adding that his side will not be fazed by the atmosphere at Stadio San Paolo.
“Our priorities are simple, first qualify, if possible top [of the group],” said Wenger. “For me, the first priority is to qualify. If we finish top it is even better.
“It [the atmosphere] is part of the big games, we know how to deal with that. You have that everywhere. We played everywhere in Europe, we are used to this kind of atmosphere, when you go from Fenerbahce to Dortmund, you are used to this kind of atmosphere.”
“When you play so many games, sometimes in one game you have a feeling the legs are a bit tired, but sometimes the game after they surprise you again and everybody has recovered.
“At the moment we have a stable squad. In some positions I rotate more than others where the stability is important. But overall we have no major signs of fatigue medically.”
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.