Wenger: Olympiacos the ones with something to lose

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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.

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Nathan

When facing near impossible situations in the Champions League the past few seasons, Arsenal always have fought valiantly and come agonizingly close, albeit without achieving the end goal. (Example, winning 3-0, 2-0 and 2-0 against Milan, Munich and Monaco respectively after disastrous first legs). Hope they can do the same, but go one step further and qualify in this case! Come on, you Reds!

Clock-End Mike

The key tomorrow will be to take our chances when they come, as we know they will. We make more chances than most other teams, so without Alexis we’re going to need Giroud, Ramsey, Walcott, especially those three, to be clinical tomorrow. Other than that, if we can defend set pieces better than we have done sometimes recently, I think we have a very good chance.
Winning 2-1 is my fear…

David C

Come on you Gunners!!!

I say start with Theo on the bench and bring him on to really open the game up later.

neutral

I don’t get this idea that Blogs also put forth, Theo always seems ineffective as a sub and most effective as a starter, would like to see the stats on sub versus starter.

David C

not healthy enough to play all 90 so bring him on later to play against tired legs. If you start Walcott, he probably won’t last the 90 and I don’t think the Ox will have the same impact as a sub.

Either way, let’s just win by two goals 🙂

Sauce

On the contrary I think theo is more effective starting while the Ox with his burstling pace and strength would be more effective coming on rather than starting.. Also right now, I know who I’d pick to start btw theo and Ox

ChrisGoona

Thinking back to last season when we were camped in the Monaco half, Theo was useless in that scenario.

I say start him if it suits our game plan better.

Paul

This is achievable let’s do it COYG!

goonertilidie

What do ya reckon, we win 2-0, and the chavs and manure go out?

That would be nice.

SB

The ManU result is achieved.

In my view that’s a useful boost from our league title aspiration. Despite what Wenger said, no team with Europa League won the English League title, probably didn’t even run close.

So, I’m happy that one of the title contenders are a bit hamstrung now. Especially without being on form and the injury situation like ours, they are just a point behind. Also people under-estimate their spending power, they are as bad as the oil money clubs.

Now, we need to ensure we don’t join the Thursday football club.

Alphie

I’m nervous. More than arsenal. More than olympiacos.

Still. I’ll drag myself to the nearest pub and be nervous for the first few minutes and be like. Let me enjoy it irrespective of the result. All I want is commitment to the cause like the failed trials at Milan in the return leg.

Still as gunner hoping we smash em like we did Porto some years back. May they score 3 own goals too

Ex-Priest Tobin

Personally I hope we don’t win. We should focus on the league. The Bayern humiliation proved we have no chance of competing in the latter stages so what’s the point.

Arsepedant

You typically hope we don’t win anything.

Gandalf

“Hope we don’t win, focus on league”

How does that even make sense? If we don’t qualify, we go into the europa, which we are more likely to go further in. Wenger won’t rest players even if it is europa.

And we probably still wouldn’t win it 🙁

ChrisGoona

Arsenal’s form at the tail-end of last season (Monaco aside) was up there with the best in Europe. We should have progressed to the latter stages, and there is no reason why we can’t challenge this time round if we get a good result tonight.

COYG

Dave Trotter

Reverse psychology on other teams is not Wengers strongest trait. Glorious failure beckons once again. We are not equipped to win the champions league. Possibly should have done with The Invincibles but that boat has sailed and is far on the horizon.

ChrisGoona

You’re wrong:

Liverpool – 2004
Porto – 2003

The best team doesn’t always win. Those 2 were miles behind the others in terms of quality.

It is a cup competition. If the refs give us a fair crack at it and the injury gods be on our side, we got a chance.

Paul

Manchester United have (in “sales” speak) “gone at the game” imo.
A bit sad really…:-)

stupid sexy Flamzil

Couple of injuries for united too, not that I ever really view them as a title threat

Arsepedant

They finished with two U19s and a midfielder as their back line.

Steinn

We should go for all-out attack from the beginning with Theo starting in place of either the Ox or Campbell. It’s a lot better to go in to the break with 1-1 than 0-0, remember that 3-2 will get us through so we should be aiming to score 3 goals, aiming for a 2-0 is too risky.

ciderman

I would leave the ox out and put Theo in

ciderman

Crumbs tomorrow is gonna be a tough one – score early and I think we can do it

Alex

I’m expecting a win for Arsenal. We have an enormously strong and solid back 5 and perhaps a less than ideal midfield but ultimately a very strong team. Özil, Ramsey and Walcott can all step up and create big problems. The chances will come – just got to actually take them.

Bendtnervana

I fear for those close to me if the ref calls time and arsenal “win” 2-1

Fireman Sam

Fuck yeah. Game on. COYG!!

otamotpuos

So how will the third-kit-curse strike this time?

Clock-End Mike

Yeah. That’s my other worry. Hate that kit…

Dc gooner

Olympiakos will pack it in so Giroud is better to start. Theo will come in around 60 minute mark and get a brace. 3-2 gooners win !

COYG

Ross Zhong

I’M FUCKING CONFIDENT!

Kosoxzil

Have a strong feeling that their coach will call up Mou, who happens to be a close friend on how to park the bus.

Angus

Please would someone explain why we have to win 2-0? Our goal difference, at -1 is superior to theirs (-4) so surely a win for us by any margin will put us through? I don’t pretend to know lots about football but I am good at maths! Or maybe I’m missing something…?

Sauce

On the contrary I think theo is more effective starting while the Ox with his burstling pace and strength would be more effective coming on rather than starting.. Also right now, I know who I’d pick to start btw theo and Ox

Trez

I’m sorry but this is a VERY lame attempt at reserve psychology by Wenger.
Failing to qualify from this group will be one of/if not the most disgraceful champions league campaign in a while.

weswakweli

4-1 to THE MIGHTY ARSENAL.! You can quote me on this!!!! #COYG!!!

Serge Blanco

If we are ahead at the hour mark I genuinely believe we will do it as I do think Olympiakos will panic. Giroud to start as they will certainly sit deep. Big game for Flam and Ramsey to snuff out counter attacks. 1-3 for me