Laurent Koscielny believes that BATE Borisov will come to defend their 1-0 lead at the Emirates tomorrow night, but says Arsenal must be calm and ensure that they take their chances when they come.
The Gunners spurned some excellent chances to open the scoring in Belarus last week, and were punished when Stanislaw Dragun headed the home side in front with a goal that turned out to be the winner.
With plenty to put right in the second leg, the Arsenal skipper knows they’ll have to work hard to break down a team which will sit deep, and not as wasteful in front of goal if they want to qualify for the Round of 16.
“We need to find a good balance between attacking and defending,” he said.
“I think they will play with a deep block and wait to play on the counter-attack. We need to be focused on our tradition when we lose the ball, to try to win back the ball as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to give them chances to have a free-kick or corner. Afterwards, it’s about us being efficient in their box to score some goals.
“We don’t know if we will score early in the game or later, but we need to continue to play with calmness and focus.
“We can have some chances like we had in the first leg, but we need to be more efficient in both boxes.”
And the 33 year old stressed the potential importance of going the distance: not only is there a trophy but qualification for next season’s Champions League if we finish outside the top four.
“It is a top-level tournament,” he continued. “There is Chelsea, Napoli, Valencia so it I think it is a big competition, more than last year, and every year it is more intense.
“Last year Atletico Madrid won the cup, so for us it is big opportunity to go in the Champions League.
“Now we have a game in front of us like tomorrow to get to the next rounds and try to get to the final and be in the Champions League next season.”