Football: Wenger warning for Arsenal

PAOK SALONIKA v ARSENAL
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The Independent Online
Arsene Wenger can pass on his experience of matches in Greece to prepare Arsenal for their Uefa Cup tie against PAOK Salonika.

The former Monaco coach painted an alarming picture of what Arsenal and their travelling supporters might expect from the first round, first leg at a stadium called The Tomb tonight.

Salonika were banned from Europe for two seasons five years ago after missile attacks by fans on the players and supporters of Paris St-Germain.

Wenger said: "With Monaco we played against Olympiakos and AEK Athens and both times the atmosphere was terrible, very hostile and fanatical. The AEK game was in the Champions' Cup four years ago and to get to the stadium we had to go around the City with a military tank in front of our bus and a police escort behind."

Dennis Bergkamp has been allowed to miss the trip because of his well- documented fear of air travel. Wenger said: "We have nobody who can play for us the way Dennis does."

So the manager might not even try to replace the in-form Dutch striker directly. Instead, he could give Ian Wright a lone role up front.

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