Partizan out to upset order
Mladen Krstajic believes Partizan Belgrade can cause shockwaves in Europe when they take on Arsenal.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 27/09/10 9:44pm
Captain Mladen Krstajic believes Partizan Belgrade can cause shockwaves in the UEFA Champions League when they take on Arsenal.
The Gunners enter Tuesday's Group H clash on the back of a humiliating home defeat to West Bromwich Albion and they face the prospect of a Serbian side intent on making a name for themselves by heaping more misery on Arsene Wenger's men.
Arsenal's midweek opponents Partizan were unbeaten in their domestic league last season and have come through three rounds of qualifying to reach this stage of the competition.
And veteran Krstajic believes Alexander Stanojevic's well-drilled team, who lost their first fixture 1-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk, can produce a performance which will put them on the map.
"Against Arsenal, we will need to give even more than we produced against Shakhtar," the 36-year-old defender told the UEFA Champions League Magazine Show.
"We can't afford to let our performance level drop, and I hope we will manage to achieve a result that will announce our name throughout Europe."
Despite his bravado, Krstajic, who faced Shakhtar wearing a special mask to protect a broken nose, knows Arsenal will test Partizan's resolve.
"It is hard to say who their most dangerous player is," said Krstajic of Arsenal, who will be missing keeper Manuel Almunia because of an elbow injury as well as the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott.
"Arsene Wenger has a number of good players around 20 years of age.
"I don't know what line-up they will put out, but all the players will be tough opponents.
"We will need total focus to have a chance of getting into the match."
Krstajic, the former Werder Bremen and Schalke defender, added: "It won't be easy at all, and will be a tactical game.
"It is not only the four or five players at the back who have to defend - the whole team will have to play as one.
"Our midfield and our strikers will have to stay focused.
"We need to keep our minds on the game and, with the support of our fans, we will be able to come away with good memories."
Stadion FK Partizan is set to be at boiling point come kick-off tomorrow night, as 'The Gravediggers' look to be the extra man against an Arsenal team which has not won an away European tie in more than a year.
"Partizan's fans are always there for the players," said Krstajic, who has supported the Belgrade club since he was a boy.
"There will be no surprises, they will support us for 90 minutes - they are part of us and we are part of them."