• ‘They need to go to a stadium like here and have courage’
  • Gunners manager sees no reason to rest senior players

Mikel Arteta has told his young players that there will be no hiding place amid a ferocious atmosphere against Olympiakos on Thursday night, and that he expects to see a bold performance during a tie that will shape Arsenal’s season.

Failure in the Europa League round of 32 is not really an option if Arsenal wish to retain serious hopes of playing Champions League football next season, even if there is cautious optimism about an upturn in domestic form. It means a strong first-leg performance in Piraeus, faced with the Greek league leaders’ notoriously fervent support, is essential. Much of the improvement under Arteta has been underpinned by less experienced squad members like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, so he is looking for them to step up in an altogether different environment.

Related: Arsenal can still qualify for the Champions League, insists Mikel Arteta

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