Arsene Wenger says that Olympiacos are the team with something to lose tomorrow, suggesting that fear of that could inhibit their performance.
The Greeks know that a win, or even losing 1-0 or 2-1, would see them through, but the Arsenal manager says that can create uncertainty in a team’s performance, and he’s urging his players to take advantage of that tomorrow night.
“Let’s not forget Olympiacos are qualified at the moment but they can lose what they have,” he said. “That can create a fear factor.
“We have a history of positive results, we have won everywhere in Europe and we know we can do it. We just want to focus on a top quality performance.
“If you want to jump over a hurdle, you do not think what happens if you miss it. We might need to be patient.
“We must go into the game with the desire to win, knowing that we have to get both parts of the game – attacking and defending – well.”
Meanwhile, tomorrow’s opposition are relishing the chance to progress to the knock-out stages of the competition by getting the right result against the Gunners.
Coach Marco Silva said, “It’s really nice to be able to fight for qualification tomorrow. As we all know, the results come on the pitch. We agree that a team like Arsenal, which rarely is in this position having usually secured qualification before the last day of the group, are under an additional pressure.
“We do not feel pressure, we feel obliged to fight and present the best possible result in front of our fans.”
How they achieve that result remains to be seen. Do they stay cautious and try and deny us goals, or attacking us looking to put the game to bed?
It’s set-up to be quite a cracker.