NEWS
Tuesday December 10 2013
Wenger: 'Napoli-Arsenal decider'

Arsene Wenger trusts Arsenal are ready for “a decider in the Champions League” against Napoli.

The manager spoke at a Press conference in Naples ahead of tomorrow night’s encounter, which kicks off at 19.45 GMT.

The Gunners won the first meeting 2-0 in London and could go through even if they lose by less than three clear goals.

“The attitude of the players is focused and ambitious. That pleases me very much,” said Wenger.

“We will play our usual game and try to take control of the ball. Tomorrow is a decider in the Champions League, that is for sure.”

Arsenal have made the trip without the injured Lukas Podolski, Bacary Sagna, Yaya Sanogo, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby.

“Our priorities are simple, first qualify, if possible top. For me, the first priority is to qualify. If we finish top it is even better.”

Napoli have won both of their Champions League home ties this season against Olympique Marseille and Borussia Dortmund.

“The atmosphere is part of the big games, we know how to deal with that. You have that everywhere. We played everywhere in Europe, we are used to this kind of atmosphere, when you go from Fenerbahce to Dortmund, you are used to this kind of atmosphere,” assured Wenger.

Gonzalo Higuain did not play in London due to injury, but is expected to start against the team he nearly joined over the summer. Wenger was asked whether he would’ve bought Mesut Ozil had he beaten Napoli to Pipita?

“Am I happy with the player I got in Ozil? Very much,” he said.

“There was a lot of statements that were not true about Higuain. He has joined Rafa Benitez. He is in good hands and shows he is a great striker. We have Olivier Giroud who shows as well that he is a great striker.”

Group F is extremely balanced, as Napoli and Borussia Dortmund are level three points behind Arsenal.

The Partenopei will qualify if they beat Arsenal by three or more goals, or if they better Dortmund’s result against Olympique Marseille.

If both the Italians and Germans win tomorrow, then all three sides will be level on 12 points and a ‘mini-league’ created between them.

Borussia Dortmund have the superior head-to-head record, which is why Napoli need to win by three clear goals. 

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