Arsenal’s focus is Europa League, says Wenger
Written by Henry on April 12, 2018
Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal’s “big target” this season is winning the Europa League, with chances of success in the Premier League “very slim”.
Arsenal trail the top four by 13 points, and with a commanding 4-1 lead over CSKA Moscow after their quarter-final first leg, winning the Europa League is their most likely avenue for Champions League qualification.
Wenger had previously said it was too early to prioritise their European commitments, but it seems with just six games left of the league season he has had a change of heart.
“Europa League is important for us – everybody knows that and we are at [the] stage where of course we focus on it because in the Premier League we have a very, very, very slim chance to get further up,” said Wenger.
“The Europa League is one of the big targets of the season.”
Wenger also said seeing Barcelona crash out of the Champions League to Roma on Tuesday, despite holding a 4-1 lead after the first leg, offered a well-timed warning to his players ahead of Thursday’s second leg in Russia.
He added: “We know it’s an important target for us to go as far as possible… last night was maybe a good warning for us.”
Granit Xhaka will miss the game against CSKA Moscow after being left at home as he is suffering from flu.
Other absentees include David Ospina (ankle), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (knee), Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (cup-tied).