herald

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Arsenal warned not to take Basel lightly

Arsene Wenger. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters
Arsene Wenger. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Basel coach Urs Fischer insists his side will go for the win against Arsenal - even though a draw could be enough to secure third place in their Champions League group.

The Swiss champions lie bottom of Group A and are now looking to secure the one Europa League berth by leapfrogging Ludogorets into third place.

Arsenal have already secured safe passage into the last 16, but look like being in the runners-up pot for next Monday's draw for the last 16 as Paris St Germain will top the group with any victory over Ludogorets in France.

And if PSG do win, just a point against the Gunners would be enough for Fischer's men to seal the Europa League spot.

Despite that, former Switzerland defender Fischer will not go out looking just for a share of the spoils against Arsene Wenger's men.

"We do not go into the game with the goal of a draw," he said at his pre-match press conference.

"That would be too dangerous. I think we need to score goals, especially against a team like Arsenal.

Perfect

"I am a realist. What is clear is that we can win if we have a perfect day - and this is what it needs.

"If we want to beat a tough opponent like Arsenal, we need a perfect day."

A brace from Theo Walcott was enough for Arsenal to win 2-0 in the return fixture back in September, although Fischer was pleased with how his side played at the Emirates.

And he suggested the Gunners did not dominate West Ham at the weekend, despite the fact Alexis Sanchez struck a hat-trick to seal a 5-1 victory over their London rivals.

"We had a plan in London and I thought we were quite good," he added.

"Arsenal have that quality that even when you think you are quite good, they still score a goal. Alexis Sanchez didn't have to score three goals for us to know he is an excellent player.

"I did see the 5-1 match - West Ham dominated that match. What I could see is that Arsenal have really dynamic movement and good forward runs.

"They are a very efficient squad. In the first half it was balanced, in the second half West Ham were the better team and were dominating the match. But then Arsenal scored and it changed so fast and made them pay."

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