Mikel Arteta has warned his Arsenal squad that they will have to match the ‘top attitude’ of Slavia Prague if they are to avoid a Europa League upset.
Arsenal host the Czech champions in the first leg of their quarter-final clash tomorrow evening, looking to secure a strong result in north London as they seek progress towards the last four.
Arteta’s side head into the clash on the back of a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday and the Gunners’ boss has warned his side they must be greatly improved ahead of Thursday’s clash.
Slavia are currently top of their domestic league and unbeaten in 25 league fixtures, whilst they beat Bayer Leverkusen and Nice in the group stage of the Europa League before eliminating both Leicester and Rangers in the knockout rounds.
Arteta is anticipating a difficult challenge at the Emirates and insists his side must be at their best to beat a ‘brave and exciting’ side.
“They are a really strong side,” Arteta told his pre-match press conference.
“They are unbeaten in their league. They’ve always been in the game. Really difficult [to break down], brave and exciting. They have a top attitude all the time.”
Arteta faces a selection dilemma with club captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang having come in for strong criticism this week, the forward producing an ineffective performance during the loss to Liverpool last weekend.
Arteta insists the Gabon international is one of just many players who must improve tomorrow night and has called on his side to give their ‘maximum’ against Slavia.
“I think the whole team and myself have to put better performances than we did against Liverpool that’s for sure,” Arteta added.
“We rely on every player on the squad to give their best and their maximum.”