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Football: Arsenal Eye Champions League Morale Booster, Utd March Tall

Posted on: November 5, 2008

PARIS : Arsenal host Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Wednesday knowing a win is vital to boost team spirits, while north of the border Celtic will attempt to halt the Manchester United juggernaut.

Arsene Wenger’s players top Champions League Group G but have dropped five points in the last two Premier League matches, including a 4-4 draw at home against Tottenham and a shock away defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.

And, with a crunch game against third-placed Manchester United next weekend, a good result against the Turks is vital for the players’ confidence.

“We have a Champions League game on Wednesday and then Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime,” said Wenger. “There are no better games in which to come back, give confidence and show our quality.”

The French coach is concerned about Arsenal’s loss of the killer touch they exhibited earlier in the season, which saw them rattle home 10 goals in Europe, five of which were against Fenerbahce.

“My biggest worry is that we did not create a lot,” Wenger said of the 2-1 defeat at Stoke. “We are not used to playing without creating chances and that is very frustrating.”

Wenger told the club’s website that he might have to reshuffle his squad for Wednesday’s match.

“We have to rotate. Unlike Stoke we play in between (Premier League matches) and the games in the Champions League are very demanding. You cannot play with the same side.”

European champions Manchester United prepared for Wednesday’s north-south battle against Celtic with a tricky 4-3 home win over Premier League surprise package Hull City on Saturday.

Unlike the London club, United avoided a morale-sapping defeat, but Hull bagged three goals at Old Trafford – the first team to do so since Chelsea in May 2005.

And it is a feat defender Nemanja Vidic does not want repeated at Celtic Park.

“The most important thing is that we took the three points, but we made a few mistakes and lost a few goals,” Vidic said.

“We can learn from the game. We made small mistakes that cost us three goals, so I hope we can improve on that so it doesn’t happen again.”

The Serbian added: “We need to forget this game but not how we conceded the goals. That way we can make sure it doesn’t happen again. We have a few days to work on that (before Celtic) and to improve.”

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan was upbeat ahead of United’s visit, thanks to a 2-0 win away to Hearts on Sunday, but the ex-Manchester player gave due respect to the Premier League champions.

“Man United are probably the best team in the world,” Strachan said Monday. “Everyone who goes there, who has spent more money than us, has got a right tonking there,” said the coach.

Celtic took a 3-0 ‘tonking’ at Old Trafford last month, a victory that put United in the driving seat in Group E, but the Scottish champions ran out 1-0 winners last time he two met in Glasgow in 2006.

“I’m hoping we’ll win, but let’s get it right – we want to play better but we know we’re playing against the best team in the world,” Strachan added.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid go into a crunch Group H match against Juventus looking to exact revenge on last month’s defeat in Turin, which was inspired by the wily Italian veteran Alessandro del Piero.

And a 1-1 league draw at mid-table Almeria on Sunday left Madrid stars Arjen Robben and Fabio Cannavaro even more determined to get a result in ‘Fortress’ Bernabeu, where they have only lost four games out of 29 against Italian opposition.

“We had the match under control at all times, but we even almost lost,” the Italian said of the Almeria match.

“We cannot slip up on Wednesday against Juventus. We have to win at all costs to be the group leader and qualify for the next round.”

That was a sentiment shared by Dutch international Robben.

“Real Madrid must defeat Juventus on Wednesday. We have two days to prepare and we need to win any which way we can. We won’t give the Italians any option of leaving with points in hand.”

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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Football: Arsenal Eye Champions League Morale Booster, Utd March Tall

Posted on: November 5, 2008

PARIS : Arsenal host Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Wednesday knowing a win is vital to boost team spirits, while north of the border Celtic will attempt to halt the Manchester United juggernaut.

Arsene Wenger’s players top Champions League Group G but have dropped five points in the last two Premier League matches, including a 4-4 draw at home against Tottenham and a shock away defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.

And, with a crunch game against third-placed Manchester United next weekend, a good result against the Turks is vital for the players’ confidence.

“We have a Champions League game on Wednesday and then Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime,” said Wenger. “There are no better games in which to come back, give confidence and show our quality.”

The French coach is concerned about Arsenal’s loss of the killer touch they exhibited earlier in the season, which saw them rattle home 10 goals in Europe, five of which were against Fenerbahce.

“My biggest worry is that we did not create a lot,” Wenger said of the 2-1 defeat at Stoke. “We are not used to playing without creating chances and that is very frustrating.”

Wenger told the club’s website that he might have to reshuffle his squad for Wednesday’s match.

“We have to rotate. Unlike Stoke we play in between (Premier League matches) and the games in the Champions League are very demanding. You cannot play with the same side.”

European champions Manchester United prepared for Wednesday’s north-south battle against Celtic with a tricky 4-3 home win over Premier League surprise package Hull City on Saturday.

Unlike the London club, United avoided a morale-sapping defeat, but Hull bagged three goals at Old Trafford – the first team to do so since Chelsea in May 2005.

And it is a feat defender Nemanja Vidic does not want repeated at Celtic Park.

“The most important thing is that we took the three points, but we made a few mistakes and lost a few goals,” Vidic said.

“We can learn from the game. We made small mistakes that cost us three goals, so I hope we can improve on that so it doesn’t happen again.”

The Serbian added: “We need to forget this game but not how we conceded the goals. That way we can make sure it doesn’t happen again. We have a few days to work on that (before Celtic) and to improve.”

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan was upbeat ahead of United’s visit, thanks to a 2-0 win away to Hearts on Sunday, but the ex-Manchester player gave due respect to the Premier League champions.

“Man United are probably the best team in the world,” Strachan said Monday. “Everyone who goes there, who has spent more money than us, has got a right tonking there,” said the coach.

Celtic took a 3-0 ‘tonking’ at Old Trafford last month, a victory that put United in the driving seat in Group E, but the Scottish champions ran out 1-0 winners last time he two met in Glasgow in 2006.

“I’m hoping we’ll win, but let’s get it right – we want to play better but we know we’re playing against the best team in the world,” Strachan added.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid go into a crunch Group H match against Juventus looking to exact revenge on last month’s defeat in Turin, which was inspired by the wily Italian veteran Alessandro del Piero.

And a 1-1 league draw at mid-table Almeria on Sunday left Madrid stars Arjen Robben and Fabio Cannavaro even more determined to get a result in ‘Fortress’ Bernabeu, where they have only lost four games out of 29 against Italian opposition.

“We had the match under control at all times, but we even almost lost,” the Italian said of the Almeria match.

“We cannot slip up on Wednesday against Juventus. We have to win at all costs to be the group leader and qualify for the next round.”

That was a sentiment shared by Dutch international Robben.

“Real Madrid must defeat Juventus on Wednesday. We have two days to prepare and we need to win any which way we can. We won’t give the Italians any option of leaving with points in hand.”

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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Football: Arsenal Eye Champions League Morale Booster, Utd March Tall

Posted on: November 5, 2008

PARIS : Arsenal host Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Wednesday knowing a win is vital to boost team spirits, while north of the border Celtic will attempt to halt the Manchester United juggernaut.

Arsene Wenger’s players top Champions League Group G but have dropped five points in the last two Premier League matches, including a 4-4 draw at home against Tottenham and a shock away defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.

And, with a crunch game against third-placed Manchester United next weekend, a good result against the Turks is vital for the players’ confidence.

“We have a Champions League game on Wednesday and then Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime,” said Wenger. “There are no better games in which to come back, give confidence and show our quality.”

The French coach is concerned about Arsenal’s loss of the killer touch they exhibited earlier in the season, which saw them rattle home 10 goals in Europe, five of which were against Fenerbahce.

“My biggest worry is that we did not create a lot,” Wenger said of the 2-1 defeat at Stoke. “We are not used to playing without creating chances and that is very frustrating.”

Wenger told the club’s website that he might have to reshuffle his squad for Wednesday’s match.

“We have to rotate. Unlike Stoke we play in between (Premier League matches) and the games in the Champions League are very demanding. You cannot play with the same side.”

European champions Manchester United prepared for Wednesday’s north-south battle against Celtic with a tricky 4-3 home win over Premier League surprise package Hull City on Saturday.

Unlike the London club, United avoided a morale-sapping defeat, but Hull bagged three goals at Old Trafford – the first team to do so since Chelsea in May 2005.

And it is a feat defender Nemanja Vidic does not want repeated at Celtic Park.

“The most important thing is that we took the three points, but we made a few mistakes and lost a few goals,” Vidic said.

“We can learn from the game. We made small mistakes that cost us three goals, so I hope we can improve on that so it doesn’t happen again.”

The Serbian added: “We need to forget this game but not how we conceded the goals. That way we can make sure it doesn’t happen again. We have a few days to work on that (before Celtic) and to improve.”

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan was upbeat ahead of United’s visit, thanks to a 2-0 win away to Hearts on Sunday, but the ex-Manchester player gave due respect to the Premier League champions.

“Man United are probably the best team in the world,” Strachan said Monday. “Everyone who goes there, who has spent more money than us, has got a right tonking there,” said the coach.

Celtic took a 3-0 ‘tonking’ at Old Trafford last month, a victory that put United in the driving seat in Group E, but the Scottish champions ran out 1-0 winners last time he two met in Glasgow in 2006.

“I’m hoping we’ll win, but let’s get it right – we want to play better but we know we’re playing against the best team in the world,” Strachan added.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid go into a crunch Group H match against Juventus looking to exact revenge on last month’s defeat in Turin, which was inspired by the wily Italian veteran Alessandro del Piero.

And a 1-1 league draw at mid-table Almeria on Sunday left Madrid stars Arjen Robben and Fabio Cannavaro even more determined to get a result in ‘Fortress’ Bernabeu, where they have only lost four games out of 29 against Italian opposition.

“We had the match under control at all times, but we even almost lost,” the Italian said of the Almeria match.

“We cannot slip up on Wednesday against Juventus. We have to win at all costs to be the group leader and qualify for the next round.”

That was a sentiment shared by Dutch international Robben.

“Real Madrid must defeat Juventus on Wednesday. We have two days to prepare and we need to win any which way we can. We won’t give the Italians any option of leaving with points in hand.”

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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