ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his team to get their Champions League campaign back on track by rediscovering the winning habit at home to Galatasaray tonight.
The Gunners lie bottom of Group D having lost their opening fixture at Borussia Dortmund – part of a stuttering start to the season in which they have mustered just three wins from 10 games.
But Wenger, who celebrates 18 years in charge of Arsenal today, is tipping them to reach the knockout rounds for a 15th straight term if they take maximum points at Emirates Stadium.
“It’s early but we are maybe more under pressure to win the game than if we had won the first,” he said. “But it is the same in the Champions League: you want to win your home games. You need one good result away from home and then win all your home games. The group stage is a minimum of 10 points so the home games are vital.”
Wenger confirmed Jack Wilshere is available but may be rested with Sunday’s trip to Chelsea in mind, while fellow midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta are out for several weeks. Winger Theo Walcott is to return to full training following a nine-month lay-off next week, while striker Olivier Giroud, also out until the new year, has agreed a contract extension until 2018.
Galatasaray beat Arsenal on penalties in their only previous meeting, the 2000 Uefa Cup final, but have won just twice in six games this term and lost on their last three European trips. The Turkish side needed a stoppage-time Burak Yilmaz equaliser to draw with Anderlecht in their group opener.