Premier League leaders Arsenal have been backed as potential Champions League winners by Elie Baup, manager of the Gunners’ Tuesday opponents Marseille, Sky
The sides meet in the fifth round of the group stage with Arsenal top of Group F on nine points and Marseille bottom of the table, yet to register a single point. Arsene Wenger’s side could seal qualification with a win at the Emirates Stadium – if the result of Napoli’s trip to Borussia Dortmund goes their way – and Baup feels Arsenal are a contender to claim the trophy.
“Arsenal are an extremely strong side in these competitions,” Baup said in his pre-match press conference. “They are the best side in our group and are going to qualify. When you get to the last 16 and the quarter-finals, the teams are all very close together. However, this season Arsenal have an undeniable attacking quality.”
Marseille are already out of the running for a place in the next round of the competition but Baup insists his side have plenty left to play for as they look to avoid the ignominy of ending the group stage without a point. “We do not want to end with no points – we need to put in our best possible performances in the final two games of the group,” he added.
“Our squad is made up of young players who have a desire to improve and the experience of the Champions League will give them motivation, but also they have to realise how much work we still have to do.
“They all want to be back here and that is what we need to focus on,” Baup continued. “As soon as we had the draw, everyone put us as fourth in the group. But we have always tried to play our right game and play well against teams who were better than us from the start.”
Arsenal were 2-1 winners when the sides first met in France, goals from Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey putting the Londoners in front before a late Jordan Ayew penalty provided some consolation.
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