By Declan Taylor
Roma’s John Arne Riise expects Arsenal to raise their game for Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Emirates Stadium.
Riise admits he has been keeping tabs on the Gunners ahead of his side’s trip to North London and, despite their disappointing league position, the Norweigan has been impressed by Arsenal’s performances.
However, the 28-year-old is certain that Arsène Wenger’s side will up the ante on Tuesday night with a Champions League Quarter-Final berth at stake.
“I think when it comes to the Champions League every team steps up their game,” Riise said at Monday’s pre-match press conference. “Arsenal are a fantastic team. We know it will be difficult tomorrow.
“People say they are having a bad time but I have seen a few of their games lately and they are playing fantastic football.
“They have great technical ability in the middle and up front and they defend very well. They have Nicklas Bendtner up front who is very strong in the air and then quick, small players on the wings.”
Of course the ex-Liverpool man is no stranger to the Gunners having crossed swords with them during his seven-year stint at Anfield. But Riise is adamant that Roma will not rely on any inside information.
“I know the English style of football but we are here to play the Roma style of football,” he said. “We will play our own system and our own football, if we do that we can win. We will need a bit of luck and we will need to be at our best because Arsenal are very physical and very good.”Copyright 2013 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 24 Feb 2009