Hector Bellerin has insisted that Arsenal’s Thursday night Europa League match with Cologne is taking priority over the weekend’s crunch tie with Chelsea.
The Gunners host FC Koln in the opening group match of the EL this week, and are claimed to be taking the fixture seriously as they look to win the competition. They have a tough away trip to Chelsea on Sunday, but claim that Thursday has to be the priority.
“Our focus is on Thursday’s game,” the Spaniard said.
“It is a very important match to start the Europa League on the right foot.
“We have to give our best and only after that will we start to think about Chelsea [Sunday 1.30pm].
“The Europa League is a very important competition for us.
“We know that if we have the possibility of winning it, we will return to the Champions League next year, which is one of our targets.
“It’s a competition that we know we can win and we’re going to fight as much as in the other competitions to do it.
“Whoever plays, we are going to give our best.”
Bellerin claimed that we are taking it seriously, but then adds ‘whoever plays’, which tells me he thinks players are going to be rotated into the side, which tells another story somewhat.
Chelsea will no doubt pose the bigger test, especially having to travel to them, but both are huge games at a pivotal point in our season, and a win on Thursday could give us a needed boost before going to Stamford Bridge.
Do we have to take every match as seriously as each other, or should others take priority at this point in the campaign? Should we have one eye on the trip to Chelsea?