Arsenal will put one of the best Champions League records up for grabs when they face Olympiakos Piraeus in a clash for second spot in Group F on Wednesday.
As well as competing in the tournament for the 18th season consecutively, the London club have qualified for the second stage in each of the past 15 campaigns.
That run is in jeopardy, not so much due to a 5-1 hammering at group winners Bayern Munich but because Arsenal were beaten in their opening two games including a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Olympiakos.
Now they must reverse that scoreline or improve on it to preserve their proud record under Arsene Wenger who will be missing seven players including Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere.
Wenger was particularly pleased with Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to Sunderland, a victory that lifted Arsenal to second place in the Premier League.
“For our confidence it was vital,” the French coach told reporters. “I was very nervous because I knew it was a very important game for our season.
“It is better to prepare for the (Olympiakos) game knowing we have won. The one positive thing is we know exactly what to do.
“Most of the time when we have been to Olympiakos we have not had a lot to do because we had already qualified. This time it is the opposite,” added Wenger.
It is Arsenal’s fourth visit in seven seasons and each time the game has come on Matchday Six.
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