Arsenal travel to France today for a game at the Parc de Princes in Paris, to match up against Paris Saint Germain in the opening round of Champions League fixtures for the group stage. Arsenal have been given the Champions of Ligue 1 as a tough first test in the club’s champions league campaign and it is set up to be a truly great fixture.
Both sides seem well prepared for the match, with both players and managers coming out to give their perspective on the fixture, but it also seems that both sides are feeling pretty nervous going into the match.
Nacho Monreal is expected to keep his place for the clash against PSG and he has given his say on what is going through the minds of the players ahead of this very important game. Monreal said: “Playing against them will definitely help us know our real level. On the other hand, PSG’s manager Unai Emery is very well known by our Spanish players and we are aware of how dangerous his teams are. He usually builds strong teams, capable of pressing really intensely or good with ball possession.
Our fixture against PSG is going to be a great test for both clubs, but we also have a great squad and I am expecting a great game against them. I think that we are really difficult to beat if we play 100 per cent showing the right mentality. If we put our best football into practice we will have many chances of winning the game.
“That said, we are aware that getting the three points in our first fixture in Paris is going to be hard, but we will do our best.”
PSG may have lost some key players in Ibrahimovic and Luiz this summer, but it won’t stop them from giving the Gunners a tough test in Paris. Olivier Giroud has already given his insight into what PSG can offer and Monreal’s comments show that the players are more than aware what to expect from this strong French side, however Arsenal may have a small advantage.
In previous seasons when they have faced Chelsea, PSG have been seen to be a much more dominant team. However this season they haven’t started their form in the league as strong as they normally would and in fact the French champions have an identical record to Arsenal after four games played. Both sides have won two, drawn one and lost one, with the same goal difference. The only difference therefore is, is that the two leagues have vast differences in quality and so perhaps PSG are finding life slightly harder without so many key stars.
Arsenal will still undoubtedly have to be wary of many big names however, notably Cavani and Di Maria. Both players will be sure to cause Arsenal a bit of trouble, whilst Hatem Ben Arfa is also back on the scene and could prove to be dangerous against Arsenal. After dominating the French top division for many years now, PSG will want to take things to the next level by becoming true challengers for the Champions League. With this in mind, the Champions League could prove to be a priority for the French side and so they won’t be willing to lie down easy for the Gunners.