Bacary Sagna believes Arsenal must nullify the danger of Mathieu Valbuena in Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Marseille.
Valbuena impressed in Ligue 1 last season, contributing the joint-most assists across the division.
Sagna knows the diminutive playmaker from the French national team and he knows Valbuena must be denied time on the ball at Stade Velodrome.
I think we have one of the toughest groups because we have three quality teams to play againstBacary Sagna
“He is quite difficult to catch,” Sagna told Arsenal Player. “He is really small and moves a lot. He creates a lot of chances so we need to be on form that day and we need to play our way, dictate the game and show we are Arsenal.
“[Marseille’s French internationals] could easily play for Arsenal. I think technically they are at the top and they have a lot of quality and they are used to playing big games. We've talked about the game and they are ready to play against us.
“I think we have one of the toughest groups because we have three quality teams to play against.
“We played Napoli in the Emirates Cup and we played Dortmund two years ago in the Champions League which was really difficult and they made the final last year.
“Marseille is probably the best team in France. They have good players, some of them play with the national team and we played them two years ago and it wasn't easy so we know it's going to be quite hard.”
Sagna recognises that Arsenal need to start the group stage well but says the team do not feel extra pressure to beat Marseille - even -with games against Napoli and Dortmund on the horizon.
“I think every single game will be important whether it's away or at home,” he said.
“We need to win games and if we do that we don't need to worry about anything. We know that every game is going to be difficult and every single game is going to be important. We need to start well.”