Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged his team to put their derby win over Chelsea to the back of their minds as they look to take a big step towards the knockout stages of the Champions League with a win over Marseille tonight.
Arsenal will all but secure qualification to the second round this evening if they beat the French side and Olympiacos fail to beat Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
The Gunners go into tonight’s game full of confidence having shocked Chelsea with a stunning display of attacking football which won them Saturday’s London derby 5-3.
Raucous celebrations among the Arsenal squad followed last weekend’s win – a fact that pleased Wenger greatly.
Although Wenger acknowledges the win was important psychologically, he was also keen to remind his team that they have a more important task in hand tonight.
“At the time, you want them to be as happy. There is a need for us to communicate with our fans again and that was a good chance, we wanted that,” said Wenger about the celebrations on the pitch that followed the team’s weekend win.
“After that [match], we have won nothing. We must just use it as a springboard to go further towards our target. The players know that.
“We have now to forget about Chelsea, carry on, and prove that we can keep doing the job.”
Wenger could rest the likes of Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott after their efforts on Saturday. Thomas Vermaelen is fit, however, and Yossi Benayoun is available after sitting out Saturday’s win due to the terms of his loan agreement with the Blues.
Vermaelen’s return is a huge boost to the team, but Wenger also revealed Abou Diaby will be out for three weeks with a hamstring injury.