Arsenal face 'decisive' double-header with Borussia Dortmund as Arsene Wenger targets Champions League progression
The Gunners are currently top of Group F but face back-to-back matches against last season's runners-up
Saturday 19 October 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels his side's Champions League double-header against Borussia Dortmund will be “decisive” in who qualifies from Group F.
The Gunners host last season's runners-up on Tuesday night, before heading out to Germany on matchday four.
Wenger's men are currently top following back-to-back wins over Marseille and, most impressively, Napoli.
The Arsenal manager knows another three points next week will all but secure a place in the knockout stages.
"Dortmund have grown a lot and they look a different proposition now, maybe they were a bit impressed by us in the first (group) games (in 2011), but this time they have gained confidence," Wenger said in an interview with http://www.uefa.com.
"I feel we are stronger as well this season, so I think it will be very interesting.
"It is already a very important tie because usually (matchday) three and four usually are decisive, so that could be the key for us to qualify."
France forward Olivier Giroud maintains Arsenal will meet the challenge of the Germans head on.
"We always want to win and to keep this mentality of winning every game," he said.
"Borussia Dortmund will be really tough games for us, but we are really confident and if we keep it up, I think we could do good things in this Champions League."
Wenger believes Arsenal can have an impact on Europe's elite club competition as they look to go one better than when beaten by Barcelona in the 2006 final.
"We have experience everywhere, we go and we try and play without any inhibitions," he said.
"We were a bit unlucky with draws in the last five or six years because we often came up against Barcelona, Bayern Munich or AC Milan, and it was very tight.
"Hopefully this season we will progress to the quarters, semi-final or even final, why not?"
Wenger will celebrate his 64th birthday on Tuesday, and has indicated he would be prepared to stay on at the Emirates Stadium past the end of his current deal, which expires at the end of the season.
The French coach, who is now the longest serving in the English top flight, maintains his desire for success burns as fierce as ever.
"You always expect the perfect experience and that keeps you going, that passion for your team, passion for wanting to win games and give pleasure to people who come to watch and love the team," Wenger said.
"Our job has some disadvantages, but as well some advantages, you never look back you always look forwards to the next game and you prepare for that, it is vital.
"The happiness in our life depends on the result of the next game, so that makes you put all of your energy into the preparations for that game."
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