Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said the Gunners need to create a fear factor in their style of play ahead of the make-or-break Champions League match against Olympiakos. Arsenal visit the Greek champions needing to win by two clear goals or by scoring at least three times in their final Group F game on Wednesday 9 December, to pip their opponents to a place in the last 16.
After a poor qualification campaign, Arsenal trail second-placed Olympiakos by three points and risk failing to reach the competition's second stage for the first time in 16 seasons. Wenger, however, says the challenge holds no fear for his players and believes nerves could prove an issue for the Greeks.
"It is very important, we want to do well in Europe and the only way to do well in Europe is to do it tomorrow (Wednesday) night against Olympiakos, which is a good side. But we know we want to do it, we want to achieve it and I am sure the team will be highly focused and determined to do it because it is a big significance for us," the Frenchman told reporters in Athens.
"Of course we play against a side who will be motivated but we face that every week. We play against a side who is at the moment qualified, but let's not forget they can lose what they have. So I can create a fear factor, and the best way for us to achieve it is to believe in our quality. Before when we came here we were already qualified. That's not the case tomorrow night."
The Arsenal manager was adamant, however, that his team will need to be patient and rein in any desire for all-out attack as they hunt for the goals they need to make it through.
"I think what is important is that it is basically the same for every single game in the Champions League. You attack well and you defend well and that's the best way. Just go into the game with the desire to win it and knowing that you have to do both sides of the game well," Wenger said.
Having lost the reverse fixture in London 3-2, Arsenal need to better that result to reach the next round on their head-to-head record.
Should they win 3-2, they will go through because of their superior overall goal difference. In effect, this means any win other than 1-0 or 2-1 will take them through. Wenger is keen, though, that his players do not allow their need for goals to cloud their thinking.
"We have to put every scenario in our head, we just want to play. I think it's that we focus on the performance and the goals will come if we play well, so let's focus on that. When the goal will come I don't know, I just think when we play well we have a chance to score."
Should Arsenal finish third, they will be relegated to the Europa League, Europe's second-tier competition, whose gruelling route to the final won't be an appealing prospect for Wenger.
"At the moment we are not in this scenario, we just want to give absolute everything to qualify and if you want to jump over a hurdle, you do not think what happens if you miss the hurdle. You give absolutely everything to jump over it and if you fall down, then you respond. But if you want to have a chance to get across and above you have to focus and give absolutely everything jump over it."