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We must maintain momentum - Wenger
Published : 30 Sep 2013 23:31:56Rss feed
Arsene Wenger is focused on continuing a strong start to Arsenal's Champions League Group F campaign when his side host Napoli at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Arsenal, who beat Fenerbahce in the play-offs to reach the Champions League group stages for a 16th consecutive season, opened their European campaign with victory in Marseille.
Another three points against the Italians on Tuesday would put them in a strong position in front of the double-header against Borussia Dortmund, last season's beaten finalists who lost in Naples on matchday one.
"We are in a tough group. If you look at the teams Marseille, Dortmund and Napoli, they all play at the top of their league and in big football countries, so you feel of course for us it is vital to continue our run and to come out of the group," said Wenger.
"But you know as the well the importance of the home games will be decisive in a group of that quality."
Wenger feels Napoli coach Rafael Benitez deserves great respect, the former Liverpool and Inter Milan coach having landed another top European job following what was a testing, but ultimately successful, campaign as interim manager at Chelsea.
"He is a top class manager, he has proven that, so when you are confronted with his teams, you know it will always be difficult,'' Wenger said.
"But we are up for it, we want to do it and we have the confidence to do it.''
Arsenal will have midfielder Tomas Rosicky available again following a hamstring injury for the match, but England forward Theo Walcott is set to be out for up to five weeks after surgery on an abdominal problem. Santi Cazorla (ankle), Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) are all still sidelined.
Napoli boss Benitez is not surprised to see Arsenal at the top of the Barclays Premier League because they have the "best manager" in Wenger.
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