Arsène Wenger expects tonight's Champions League Knockout Round first leg to decide the tie overall.
 
Milan visit Emirates Stadium this evening for a game that has observers both salivating and scratching their heads. Most English bookmakers have pegged the two sides at the same odds to go through to the Quarter-Finals.

For what it's worth, Wenger feels Milan are slight favourites. But, as in Arsenal's last five Champions League knockout ties over two legs*, the Frenchman knows the opening game is the crucial tie.
 
"Usually it is decisive," said Wenger. "Not only mathematically but mentally. I have noticed it always has a great, great weight on the second leg. Why? Because it can strengthen belief for one side and weaken the belief on the other. Usually that is very difficult to reverse."
 
* Against PSV (2007), Villarreal (06), Juventus (06), Real Madrid (06) and Bayern Munich (05), the winners of the first leg went through to the next round.

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Copyright 2014 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 Feb 2008