Baup expects Arsenal to challenge for Euro glory

25 November 2013 09:16

Marseille manager Elie Baup has backed Arsenal to make a strong bid to win the Champions League this season.

Baup's team face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday and he believes the Premier League leaders are in good enough form to triumph in Europe's elite club competition for the first time.

Marseille cannot qualify for the knockout stages or the Europa League after losing all four of the Group F fixtures so far.

But should Dortmund draw at home with second-placed Napoli on Tuesday and the Gunners beat Marseille, then Arsene Wenger's men would be through.

And regardless of whether Arsenal finish first or second in the group, Baup has seen enough to convince him the north London side are a force to be reckoned with.

"In my mind Arsenal is a team which has ability and is also a very balanced side," he said on Monday.

"This is also a team which, when it has difficult moments, they can manage it very well and then be decisive.

"Arsenal are an extremely strong side in these competitions, and have made further improvements since Mesut Ozil signed.

"They are the best side in our group and are a team which is going to qualify.

"This season Arsenal have an undeniable attacking quality. They also have a lot of French players who are really improving, like Olivier Giroud who is a top-quality goalscorer.

"They have great technical players and have a great spirit."

After seven games without a win, Marseille have beaten Sochaux and then Ajaccio in Ligue 1 to get their campaign back on track.

And Baup intends to make full use of Marseille's remaining two European ties despite their fate already being sealed.

"Our squad is made up of young players who have a desire to improve and the experience of the Champions League will give them motivation, but also they have to realise how much work we still have to do," he said.

"They all want to be back here and that is what we need to focus on.

"As soon as we had the draw, everyone put us as fourth in the group.

"But we have always tried to play our right game and play well against teams who were better than us from the start."

Source: AFP