Palop ready for Gunners
Sevilla keeper Andres Palop believes his side are ready for the challenge that lies ahead against Arsenal.
By Francisco Acedo and Amanda Cornforth
Last Updated: 19/09/07 1:10pm
Sevilla goalkeeper Andres Palop believes his side are ready for the challenge that lies ahead when they face Arsenal in their UEFA Champions League opener on Wednesday.
Palop and his team-mates travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on the current Premier League leaders in their first game in Group H.
Sevilla have had a promising start to the new Primera Liga season as they lie in second place and three points adrift of table-toppers Real Madrid.
They have won both of their league games so far this campaign and they will be hoping their rich vein of form continues when they take on Arsenal, with Palop admitting it is his dream to play in the tournament with his current club.
"For me it is a dream to play in the Champions League with Sevilla," Palop told Skysports.com. "I thought when I left Valencia this opportunity would be impossible but life has given me another chance and I want to enjoy this season."
Palop is aware that Arsenal will provide some tough opposition and, after analysing some of their games, he knows where the major threats will lie in what he anticipates will be a hard game.
"To play the opening game at Arsenal is not the best for us but Sevilla have shown in the last two years that they are able to take on all challenges," he continued.
"I think that Arsenal and Sevilla will make it into the next round of the competition but it is necessary to focus match by match.
"Arsenal are dangerous. They have a big team although now they are without [Thierry] Henry. We have watched some videos of this season and the Gunners play an excellent game. Their main characteristic is they block and have many players with offensive power.
"For us it is not just [Robin] Van Persie and [Emmanuel] Adebayor that are dangerous but also the midfielders.
"I expect a complicated match in London but it is necessary that we play with calm and intelligence. One point would be a sensational start against such a quality rival but our aim has to be to win."
Palop has also warned his side not to allow the chance of winning the biggest prize in the European game to overshadow their ambitions in the league.
"The Champions League is our dream but Sevilla must not forget La Liga. That is a prize for us but we don't want it to become an obsession."