By Chris Harris
Villarreal will have to shed their attacking inhibitions when they chase a place in the Champions League Final next week - and Freddie Ljungberg believes that could play into Arsenal's hands.
The Swedish midfielder found space at a premium at Highbury on Wednesday night as Villarreal limited Arsenal to the slenderest of first-leg leads, but he expects a more open game at El Madrigal.
"They didn't attack that much to be honest which surprised me a little bit but that's the way it is and unfortunately we didn't score another goal but we'll see down in Spain," said Ljungberg.
"I'm hoping that they will be a bit more offensive and they'll probably give us more space and we can go at them at the same time. To be honest I'm looking forward to it, it's a good result we have. They have to go at us and it will give us a bit more space to play in.
"We created some more chances tonight but didn't score more goals. Of course that would have been nice to do but at the same time I think we played quite well and that's how it is sometimes.
"I have all the respect for Villarreal, they are a great side but of course I have confidence and we feel good and we're playing good football at the moment so, fingers crossed, we can have a good result down there."
Before Ljungberg and company head for Spain, there is the small matter of a North London derby with Tottenham. Saturday's game will have a significant bearing on the race for fourth spot - and a place in next season's Champions League - but Ljungberg believes Arsenal can cope with another huge fixture before their second leg with Villarreal.
"If we don't get any injuries on Saturday then it's not a bad thing," he said. "Of course, not having a derby would have been easier but that's the way it is and we're not complaining about the fixtures, we're just getting on with it.
"You can always see the positives and negatives - but as long as we don't get any injuries we'll be happy."
Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 20 Apr 2006