Arsene Wenger will be without Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud for Arsenal’s home match with Olympiacos in the Champions League on Tuesday, and he’s made it clear there is no room for error.
According to the Metro, Wenger expressed confidence in the Gunners’ chances in spite of their missing stars but has made it clear to his squad that after losing two weeks ago to Dinamo Zagreb, they need the points in a home match to get back on track and failure is not an option.
“You have to win home games if you want to qualify, it’s as simple as that,” said Wenger.
“We cannot afford to drop points against anybody at home.
“We’re now in a position where we do not want to talk too much about the statistics, we just want to win our games and I’m confident we will.”
Arsenal are undefeated in the second match of the Champions League over their last 20 appearances in the tournament, so history certainly appears to be on Wenger’s side.
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However, although Arsenal have not been knocked out of the Group Stage in over a decade, their luck upon making it to the knockout round has been rough to put it lightly.
In each of the last five seasons, Arsenal have bee eliminated in the Round of 16. The closest Arsenal have come to winning the whole thing since their European Cup Winner’s Cup title in 1994 was during the 2006 Champions League final when Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti scored twice in the last 15 minutes to beat Arsenal 2-1 and take the Cup for Barcelona.
Since that loss in 2006, Arsenal have made it to the semi-finals once and the quarter-finals twice to go along with six defeats in the Round of 16.