Santi Cazorla is wary of the threat that French side Olympique Marseille possess despite being bottom of their group.
Marseille have failed to collect a single point after losing all four of their UEFA Champions’ League group fixtures and will most likely finish bottom of the group, but the Spanish midfielder has said that this is exactly what makes them so dangerous as they now have nothing at stake.
Arsenal top the group on nine points after a gritty 1-0 win at German giants Borussia Dortmund and also find themselves four points clear at the top of their domestic league after their 2-0 home win over high-flying Southampton on Saturday.
One might therefore be forgiven for thinking that their Tuesday night encounter with the French side at the Emirates is a bit of a formality, but Cazorla was quick to warn his team against complacency, especially with a trip to Naples yet to come.
“The main problem I see is that everyone thinks it’s going to be an easy game for us to win,” he said when speaking to the club’s official website.
“There is nothing at stake for Marseille because they have zero points but they are going to make things difficult for us. It may be tough and if we’re not careful we might slip up and then we might not be able to get through to the next round.”
These two sides played out a goal-less stale mate when they last met at the Emirates two years ago, but chances of pulling off a win in north London are highly unlikely given their poor record in England.
Marseille have only won once in 11 competitive visits to England, drawing four and losing six times. With little chance of even qualifying for the Europa League, Marseille manager Elie Baup has hinted that they may use Tuesday night’s game to blood a few youngsters.
“We’re eliminated from the Champions’ League but we need to show some good things,” he said to reporters.
“It will perhaps be the occasion for some young players to gain some experience.”
This will make good reading for the Emirates faithful, who know they now have a glorious opportunity to secure passage into the knockout phase of Europe’s premier competition.
A home win over Marseille coupled with anything other than a win for Dortmund over second-placed Napoli would ensure that Arsenal qualify from their group with a game to spare.
Napoli meanwhile travel to a Dortmund side bruised after a massive 3-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich and desperate to keep their European dream alive.
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