Arsene Wenger confirmed the Gunners would take Europa League seriously should they are to be eliminated from the Champions League.
The Gunners host Dinamo Zagreb tonight while their hopes of making it to the knockout stages hanging in the thread following three defeats from their opening four Group F matches.
Both the managers countered over their thoughts on doping in football but on the field, Arsenal know all ready they have to win at any cost to keep alive any chance of coming out of the group stages.
However, anything less than a win for Bayern Munich against Olympiacos in Munich will eliminated Wenger’s troop, but they have a chance to finish third and drop down into Europa League.
Europa League has been given less importance by a number of English sides in the past but Wenger doesn’t want to follow that path.
“We would take the competition seriously – but we are not out (of the Champions League) yet,” he said.
“I believe that this problem is exaggerated a little bit in England because we play Wednesday and Saturday, so it is the same as Thursday and Sunday. I can’t see the difference.
“There are plenty of examples in Portugal and Spain where teams have taken it seriously and won the championship. Benfica are the example, Sevilla have done well.”
Wenger also dismissed any possibilities of Bayern and Olympiacos playing out for a draw at the Allianz Arena which would see both clubs qualify eliminating Arsenal.
“If Bayern don’t win they could still be second in the group because they go to Zagreb where they can lose,” he said.
“In front of their crowd they will want to win. That will be really Machiavellian to think they will deliberately lose to get us out.”
If Arsenal manages to defeat Dinamo Zagreb tonight then they will travel to Olympiakos on 19th December looking for a huge margin victory which could see them qualify for the knockout stages. They also are not in a position to catch Bayern Munich following the 5-1 disaster as it means Bayern Munich win the sides’ head to head convincingly.
Arsenal’s frustrating Champions League run began with the 2-1 defeat to Zagreb when Oliver Groud sent off with injury. After that clash, Dinamo midfielder Arijan Ademi failed a dope test and since been given 4 year ban by UEFA.
While dinamo are lookin for an appeal against the ban, Arsenal manager Wenger told he cannot understand why the Croatian champions are still running in this competition and raised questions about the UEFA rules which cannot disqualify them.
Wenger further said: “It’s a surprising rule. UEFA applies the rule that is planned but I personally don’t agree with the rule. You cannot say that they had a doped player but the result stands. That means you basically accept doping.”