In the aftermath of the Gunners’ 3-0 home victory against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, pundits were split in their opinions of whether Arsenal could make the cut for the Round of 16. We are currently in third place in Group F, and will need to win the last remaining game against Olympiacos in Greece to have any chance of progressing. The Greek side were demolished in their game against Bayern Munich, easing the pressure on us significantly, but nothing less than a win will suffice for Arsenal and it might be a tough prospect as we travel to a venue where we have never won before.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was of the opinion that the North London club would fall short of their target, pointing to the rampant injury problems in the squad as a possible barrier. The current list of players available is unlikely to change before the Olympiacos game, with only the Ox scheduled to return in time, as per the manager.
I’m not sure that that squad is capable of going there and getting a result they need.
I think they need some bodies back certainly to strengthen the bench because it could be one of them games that goes right to the wire.
Meanwhile, ex-Arsenal player Charlie Nicholas was much more optimistic, expressing his belief that the gulf in quality between the two teams would ensure that the Gunners emerged victorious. The former player was speaking to Soccer Special, where he said:
Arsenal are a better team than Olympiakos. They can go there and win by two clear goals and keep the back door shut. I think they can do it but I’ve been here before time and time again, [for example] Monaco last season.
[In 2012-13 Arsenal] beat Bayern Munich away but went out because of one daft goal. That performance is still there at Arsenal but they can do it. If two or three are back fit they should be good enough to take care of this.
What do you think? Can we enter the Round of 16 this year?