Mikel Arteta is anticipating a ‘huge battle’ when Arsenal travel to face Lens in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
Arsenal face Lens in the second fixture of their group stage campaign, looking to build on an emphatic 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates in their Champions League opener.
Lens finished as shock runners-up in Ligue 1 last season and ended the campaign just a point behind champions Paris Saint-Germain, but the French side – competing in the Champions League for the first time since 2002/03 this season – have endured a difficult start to the new campaign after exits of key players in Lois Openda and Seko Fofana.
Lens are just a point above the Ligue 1 relegation places after seven games, but Arteta is not underestimating a side who he believes have been unfortunate this season.
“I was really impressed with what they did last year,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s incredible to finish in that position, and the way they did it, the form they had at home. This season they have been really unlucky with some results. I don’t know how they don’t have more points, so we expect a huge battle tomorrow.
“We are more than aware of it. They are a really good side and we have a huge test ahead of us tomorrow.”
Read Also – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned