Football

Venus relishing all-British clash

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Celtic assistant manager Mark Venus claims Arsenal will have been just as keen to avoid the Hoops in Friday's Champions League draw as the Scottish Premier League side were to steer clear of the Gunners.

The latest all-British clash in Europe's premier club competition was confirmed on Friday morning when the two sides were paired together in a play-off for a place in the lucrative group phase.

"I think they will be wary of it and I don't think it's the game they entirely would have wanted," said Venus, whose side sealed their play-off place with victory over Dinamo Moscow in midweek.

The other ties in the "non-champions path" were Atletico Madrid against Panathinaikos, Lyon against Anderlecht, Fiorentina against Sporting Lisbon and FC Timisoara against Stuttgart.

Venus admits Arsenal were the last team Celtic wanted but reckons the Londoners will be equally worried about a trip to Parkhead.

"I think there might have been easier ties - with the greatest of respect - for Arsenal to face," added Venus.

"They will be just starting their season like us, but we've had a lot of games already. We've already had a competitive two-match tie and we got through."

Despite their lack of competitive action, Arsenal handed Rangers a footballing lesson in Sunday's Emirates Cup clash.

Yet, Venus sees weaknesses in Arsene Wenger's young side which Celtic can exploit when the teams meet competitively for the first time ever on Tuesday week.

"It's not an impregnable club," Venus said. "They're still young, they have got some immaturity at Arsenal - it's there for all to see. But they are very talented footballers who, on their night, can give anyone in the world a good game."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League
Queens Park Rangers

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