Let's play our way, urges Wenger

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Football News

Arsene Wenger has warned his Arsenal team they must not "expose" themselves by refusing to take the game to Roma in the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night.

The Gunners will defend a slender 1-0 lead in the second leg as they look to book a place in the quarter-finals at the expense of the Serie A side.

"We need to go there and play our game - it is very important for us to focus on scoring and going forward," said the Gunners boss. "Roma are a very good team offensively, so if we allow them to spend 90 per cent of the time doing what they like to do, we will expose ourselves."

He added: "So let's go there and focus on dictating the game - it is part of the personality of the team, so let's show that."

Wenger added: "We are going into the game with belief and extreme desire to qualify.

"The positive is we did not concede in the first leg and we go there knowing that - not only can we go there and defend, but we want to go forward and attack at every opportunity."

Arsenal head into Wednesday night's game on the back on an unbeaten 17-match run in all competitions.

Sunday's 3-0 win over Burnley in the FA Cup fifth round - which set up a potential semi-final date with Chelsea at Wembley next month - was a 10th clean sheet from the last 14 games as the Gunners once again displayed their renewed defensive security.

With England winger Theo Walcott and Croatia striker Eduardo now back in first-team action, while Emmanuel Adebayor and captain Cesc Fabregas should also soon be match fit again, there are plenty of reasons for Wenger to remain positive heading into the crucial phase of the campaign.

"It is exciting because this group is extremely determined and it has been a pleasure to work with them," said the Arsenal boss, whose side are now only three points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League. "We now go into the time where it matters - they have not always been rewarded and I want them to."

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Emmanuel Adebayor
Premier League
Aston Villa
Theo Walcott

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