Mikel Arteta has urged his Arsenal squad to secure their place in the Europa League last-32 with a hectic festive schedule on the horizon.
The Gunners face a gruelling festive month which sees them play nine times in the space of 25 days, starting with next Thursday’s Europa League clash at home to Rapid Vienna.
It seems the Spaniard is keen on finishing off the job in tonight’s clash as he talked about squad management.
Arteta said: “For the squad management, in football when you have the chance to grab something you have to do it in that moment. You don’t know what’s going to happen in a week’s time, two weeks’ time, in any game. There are a lot of things that can happen. I always tell the players: ‘When you have it, you can do it today, then do it and then forget about it, then let’s move on’. (via Yahoo Sports)
Will Arsenal qualify for the last-32 of the Europa League tonight?
One of the worst things the Gunners can do tonight is slip up in their quest to qualify from the group. An easy win should be on the cards, however, with Arsenal’s recent poor form, anything can happen in Europe’s second-tier competition.
The north London outfit know all too well what it’s like to be at the end of a shock given how badly they were defeated by Olympiacos in last season’s last-32 stage. The Gunners seemingly cruised their way to victory away to the Greek side, only to then put on a horror show of a performance a week later to get knocked out of the competition.
Qualifying tonight means that a raft of young stars can appear in the final two group games, giving some much-needed rest to the older heads of the first-team squad. And boy will the older first-team squad need the rest with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City all to come in the month of December.