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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Wenger: Harder to win now in Europe

Arsene Wenger has just about seen it all in his 18 years as Arsenal manager, and he feels while the Champions League is harder to win now, it has become somewhat predictable.

After losing 2-0 away to Borussia Dortmund on Matchday One, Arsenal are bottom of Group D.

However, Wenger remains confident his side can now turn things around in Europe, starting against Galatasaray tonight, exactly 18 years to the date he first took over at Highbury.

Wenger insists he "never looks back", but continues to believes in the "huge potential" of his current squad to deliver.

The Gunners boss, who last season ended a nine-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup, has never won the Champions League, reaching the 2006 final only to watch his side beaten by Barcelona in Paris.

"Maybe it was more open 15 years ago than it is today. The concentration of the big players in a short number of clubs is much more than it was before," said Wenger, who turns 65 in October and last season marked 1,000 matches in charge.

"It is much more predictable today, the outcome of the Champions League, than it was 10 years ago. It is harder to win it, but as well more exciting.

"If you make a poll tomorrow and say to people 'give me four clubs who will win the Champions League', then 80 or 90 per cent of people will say 'there are these four clubs'.

"I don't think that we are one of the four who will be favourites to win it, but football is strange - and not always predictable, so let's first qualify from the group stage and then we will see."

The Arsenal boss continued: "One thing that has not changed compared to 18 years ago, the players were very intelligent and they are still very intelligent today."

ARSENAL v GALATASARAY

LIVE SETANTA IRL/SKY SPORTS 1 (KO 7.45)

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