I am sure that Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal players are fully aware of what happened in the Champions League to our Premier League rivals Man City and Man United last night – and they will be desperate to avoid a similar thing happening in Zagreb this evening.
English teams have been struggling in Europe for a few years now and Wenger will need to draw on his vast European experience to ensure that the Gunners can buck this trend. We do have a great record of getting out of the group stage, even though it is always in second place.
So the boss has a good idea of what is needed in the Champions League games and the defeats for Man City and Man United last night should have given him some pointers about how to approach the game. What I think he will have learned, or had reinforced in his thoughts, is that Arsenal must start fast and press the advantage of our superior quality.
United did that well in the first half away to PSV Eindhoven, quietening the home crowd and taking the lead, but they failed to keep that up and paid the price in the second half. City were also too cautious and allowed Juventus to get settled and grow into the game. The two defeats should also have reminded the Arsenal players that this is a tough competition and any complacency will be punished.
So I expect the Gunners to go for it tonight, without throwing all caution to the wind. Ramsey has been left in London and I expect Wenger to rotate his team a bit, so I would not be surprised top see Arteta and Cazorla in the middle and maybe Giroud and Walcott starting in order to really take the game to Zagreb.
Is this how you would approach the match or should Arsenal be more careful away from home?