We would love to see this today
The Battle of Britain is on.
Celtic v Arsenal
UEFA Champions League, Celtic Park
Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 19:45
Heading into the match Wenger cautioned into reading too much into the Everton results:
“I said many times that I believe in the team but you cannot go to any conclusion after one game,” said the Frenchman. “It is one game and I believe we have room for improvement in every aspect of the game we played on Saturday – offensively and defensively.”
Celtic will be a formidable team at home. They made a cracking start to their SPL season winning against Aberdeen, 3-1 with danger man Aidan McGeady scoring two goals. Scott McDonald is also a big occasion player and he was responsible for the draw (1-1) against Man Utd last term when the Red Devils visited Celtic Park.
Arsenal have mounting injury problems that might see Bacary Sagna sidelined and Emmanuel Eboue taking his place. Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) and Denilson (groin) will also have to undergo fitness tests to prove that they can play. Theo Walcott has a more serious back problem than previously thought and was left out from the squad. Johan Djourou, Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky, and Lukasz Fabianski are also out with injuries.
Arsenal should ensure against counterattacks even as they enjoy greater ball control. I think Celtic will take advantage of the super heated atmosphere of Celtic Park to go for an early goal before the Gunners settle in. They must have seen tape of Man Utd’s blistering start in the CL semi-finals from which the Gunners never recovered.
Wenger is aware of the passionate nature of Celtic fans:
“The atmosphere is always heated in Scotland and we expect that,” said the Frenchman. “I’m sure they will try and make it very hard for us but at at the end of the day it’s always XI against XI on the pitch and that’s what matters.”
There is also the pressure of performing well as the club favoured to win:
“I still feel there is a high pressure on us to perform because it’s a massive game for us, but on the other hand you want games with that kind of pressure and you want the opportunity to show how good you are. We have another opportunity to show that.”
Wenger has the services of Andriy Arshavin at last and the Russian must be licking his chops as he finally gets to see CL action that he was denied last time around.