Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker wary of Man United backlash as injury crisis deepens

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has called on his teammates to shake off their Champions League hangover quickly as they prepare to host Manchester United this weekend, the Daily Express reports.

The Gunners square up with United in a 4pm kick off on Sunday, just days after losing 3-2 to Greek giants Olympiacos on Tuesday night.

That result now leaves Arsenal bottom of their qualifying group, having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the first round of games (via Express).

And now Mertesacker believes that he and his teammates need to boost their defensive discipline in order to keep the threat of United’s attacking talent to a minimum.

“We have got a couple of days to look back on that performance,” Mertesacker told arsenal.com.

“I think everyone will have regrets and it is good to take that away.

“It will take a couple of days to recover and to think about Manchester United and play in a different competition, which will be a good opportunity to come back to the Emirates and play our football with possession and dynamism.”

United will take on Bundesliga giants Wolfsburg this week in their own Champions League tie. The Red Devils are also currently top of the Premier League, but could see Arsenal leapfrog them should they claim all three points this weekend.

However, Arsenal’s task has been made that much more difficult following an injury sustained by key centre-back Laurent Koscielny, who was withdrawn for Mertesacker in the defeat to Olympiacos.

The Express claims that the France international tweaked his hamstring and will now join the likes of Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta, who both missed the game against the Greek side through injury.

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