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Wenger Desperate To Qualify For UCL

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger is eager to secure qualification to the group stages of the Champions League for the 16th consecutive season.

Wenger spoke about the atmosphere surrounding his club as well as the reception that is to be expected from Turkish fans in his side’s encounter with Besiktas in their Champions League qualifier tonight.

"We are desperate to (win) because we want to play in the Champions League and we know how big these games are," Wenger said to ESPN.

"We are desperate to go through. No matter what it costs we want to go through.

"We always have a difficult draw, we had Fenerbahce last year, this time we have Besiktas, so it is difficult.

"The preparation for us was a Premier League game we had absolutely to win, that's the best preparation for confidence. Now the preparation will be mainly to recover and to study Besiktas."

Wenger continued by commenting on the reported reception that he might be subjected to following critical comments that he made about the club back in the 2007/08 season when the Turks lost 8-0 to Liverpool.

"They are specialists at doing that. I never said that. They always create things like that. I am used to playing Turkish teams and I never said that," Wenger remarked.

Wenger concluded by discussing the possibility of fielding World Cup winner, Per Mertesacker, due to injuries to defenders Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny.

"It was our plan to bring the Germans back in contention for Everton, but in case of emergency I will take Mertesacker," he added.

"It is a bit early for him. Ideally we would need one more week preparation, but he is willing to play, no problem."

Arsenal take on Besiktas in their second-round Champions League qualifier tonight at 20:45 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

Do you think Arsenal will be able to secure qualification to the group stages of this year’s Champions League? Have your say in the comments section below.


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