Wenger relishing Euro clash
Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal will have one foot in the next round of the Champions League if they beat Shakhtar.
Last Updated: 18/10/10 4:51pm
Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal will have one foot in the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League if they can topple Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Gunners host the ambitious Ukraine outfit on Tuesday in an intriguing Group H encounter as both teams have a maximum of six points from their opening two games.
Shakhtar are yet to concede a goal in Europe and domestically have recorded 15 wins out of 17 games and Wenger is not taking the Ukrainians' challenge lightly.
The victors of Tuesday's clash will be in pole position to claim top spot and the French boss is not underestimating the importance of the meeting.
"In this group until now you had 12 points at stake - six went to Shakhtar, six went to Arsenal," said Wenger.
"That means what is at stake is the qualifying and also the top of the group, which is why it is a very important game.
"It is a key game because it gives us an opportunity to basically think we have qualified.
"Shakhtar are on a good winning run, they are dominating their league, they have just won 3-0 at Braga.
"We are on our toes. We know that only a great performance tomorrow will win us the game."
Tuesday's meeting sees a swift return to Emirates Stadium for ex-Arsenal man Eduardo, although the return of the Croatia international brings mixed emotions for Wenger.
The French tactician is happy to see the 27-year-old again, but sad in another way as he was never able to fulfil his potential with the north Londoners due to his horrific injury.
"I will be happy and sad to see Eduardo," he continued.
"Happy because he was always a fantastic boy with a fantastic mentality, he just had the class of an Arsenal player, and sad because I worked very hard to get him here and he left with the feeling that he could not completely fulfil the promise he had in the first season.
"That was basically down to the fact he was injured for a long time and somebody else moved in front of him."