Arsenal face a defining week with crunch tie and derby
- Credit: PA
Arsenal face a season defining week as they look to continue their bid for success in the Europa League and also take on Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby.
The Gunners will travel away to face Greek giants Olympiacos this evening (Thursday, 8pm) in the first leg of the last 16 stage before then hosting Jose Mourinho’s Spurs on Sunday (4.30pm) as they still desperately try to climb up the Premier League table.
Manager Mikel Arteta knows his side are capable of beating anyone when they perform but they must stop giving away sloppy goals in order to achieve their aims this campaign.
“It's really complicated at the moment. It's true that the feeling that I have with the way we are playing is that we can win any game, but as well, as you mentioned before, if you are giving something to the opponent, obviously the game is all the time on the line,” the 38-year-old said.
“This is where, in my opinion, we have the biggest margin of improvement. But anything can happen.”
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He added: “We are talking about it all the time and just trying to nullify anything that we give to the opponent.
“In the last few weeks, we have done that. We have to improve that individually, as in the end we have to make decisions on the pitch and it looks easy from the outside.
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“It's not that easy away from home, but if someone makes a mistake because they're playing the way we want to play, I will always support them. If someone is hiding and doesn't want to play and then makes a mistake, I'm not going to have that.”
The match at Olympiacos could be the biggest of the season yet for Arsenal as hopes of qualifying for the Champions League or Europa League could depend on whether they can be successful in that competition with a huge mountain to climb in the league as they currently sit 10th with 11 games left to be played.
If they are to climb the table they must also start with a result against fierce rivals Tottenham who have won their last four matches in all competitions and started to find their feet as they also hunt down a place in Europe.