The moment the draws for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League was made, many had already ruled out the Gunners’ chances of progression in the competition. The pundits argued that a Napoli who have an experienced manager in Rafa Benitez and spent big in the summer and Dortmund that were loosing finalists last season are the hot favourites to qualify from the group. How I wish football was so straightforward. Wenger has bored his mind on the grouping.
If you look at the group, I would say yes it is the hardest group because all the four teams have a chance to qualify. That means the every game is basically a very important one. On average you need 10 points to qualify so that gives you the task. Ten points in a group as difficult as that could be a reasonable number to get through.
It will play a big part because it is difficult to predict that you will absolutely win your three home games. You need points away from home and, like in every competition, the start is very important for the confidence of the team and to put you in a good position. Whether it is home or away, it is the same basically, we come here and we will try to win the game.
(Quotes from Arsenal.com)
Wenger has set the bar for qualification at 10 points. To get that shouldn’t be difficult, if we can win all our home games, we will have 9 points and an away win or draw from the three away games should seal qualification but we should aim higher. Qualification is good but it isn’t good enough. Arsenal should aspire to win the group as that will go a long way in helping us escape the European juggernauts in the round of 16. Should we win today which is an away game against Marseille and also win all our home games, we should be able to win the group even if we lose in Italy and Germany.
But let’s start with a win tonight. It is good to have Ozil and Giroud in the team. Hopefully, Giroud will continue his scoring streak. Marseille are not strangers to us so we shouldn’t be surprised at their weapons. Keeping Andre Ayew and our summer target Payet quiet will be key to beating them.