Monday, August 21, 2017

No psychological barrier for Arsenal, says Ancelotti

SoccerNews in English Premier League 14 Feb 2017

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Arsenal have been eliminated from the last 16 of the Champions League in each of the past six seasons, but Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti does not believe a psychological barrier will affect the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger’s side last made the quarter-finals of the competition in 2009-10, with Bayern eliminating them at this stage in 2013 and 2014.

Despite Arsenal’s disappointment on the continental stage for a prolonged period, Ancelotti will not be taking anything for granted and is wary of the threat they pose as Bayern prepare to host Wednesday’s first leg.

He told a pre-match news conference: “I don’t take this into consideration. It will not be a psychological barrier, and if there is a psychological barrier it means they want to move on from this with this game against us.

“I have a lot of respect that Arsenal can play fantastic football when they are comfortable on the pitch. We have to be able to make them uncomfortable on the pitch.

“We are not playing to avoid [conceding] goals, we are playing to play a good game, to have control of the game.

“It’s true that Arsenal are really dangerous in the counter-attack, they have fantastic, fast players, and we take that into consideration. But it’s 180 minutes, not only 90 and if we want to move on we have to play well for 180 minutes.”

Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud were highlighted as potent threats by Ancelotti.

“This group of players is good, really good, because most of them are young with a lot of quality,” he said.

“Also they have players with a good mix of experience, and of course the most important players with a lot of quality, Alexis, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud. Up front they are a really, really dangerous team.

“It will be important to play well, defend well and to have balance and to be able to put our strategy in the game.”

Ancelotti confirmed Jerome Boateng (chest) and Franck Ribery (hamstring) are the only players unavailable to him.

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