Speaking ahead of the all important, must win, game against Partizan Belgarde, Wenger wasn’t concerned about the oppoenent in the next phase. He said that we should not look ahead at which team we encounter in the next round. The focus first should be to qualify and see what happens next. Be it Barcelona, Bayern or even Real, to go ahead, we have to beat them. Be it in the next round or further ahead. Wenger said it’s even not a guarantee we will get these teams as there are other possibilities. What happens will happen. We simply have to proceed with it.
“If you want to win it, you have to play against these big teams. What is important is not to focus on the teams we might play, we first have to be very pragmatic and qualify first. We will see then who we get. First of all, it is not a guarantee that we play Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the next round – there are some other teams we can play and what happens, happens.”
Wenger further said that he expected to win every game before this, but as it is you have to be prepared for every situation and still the most important thing will be to qualify.
“I expected to win all the games before but you have to be ready for every possibility in our job and the most important thing is to qualify.”
At the moment it’s not in our hands who we meet in the next round. Our job, as Wenger has said, is to go out tomorrow and qualify. Who knows, If results go our way we might even top the group.
In team news it has been revealed that there is a possibility that Van Persie will start the match. Speaking about him, Wenger said if you would have asked him two weeks back he would have said he was ready to start. At the moment he is getting better by every match. As he has been out for a long time he needs more games to get back to match fitness. There is a chance that he will start tomorrow as Wenger hasn’t yet decided the starting lineup.
“He is getting better and better and ready to start. He was ready to start two weeks ago if you ask him. He is a player who has been out for a long time and wants games. I haven’t decided the starting line-up but it is a possibility [that Van Persie will be in it].”
Finally, for a change we have good news on the injury front. Koscielny, who till yesterday was out for three weeks, has been remarkably declared fit. He is in the squad and will start tomorrow.
As for Djourou, he will not be available as he has a minor thigh injury. He was very dominant against Fulham, but Wenger says we have to be cautious as risks cannot be taken with him.
As for the rest of the squad it will be available as it was against Fulham with Emmanuel Eboue to be included.
“Koscielny has been declared fit to play and will play tomorrow. We lose Djourou, because we are a bit cautious with him. He could have played with a risk, but we did not want to take a risk. Emmanuel Eboue comes back into the squad, the rest will be the same against Fulham.”