By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is confident that Arsenal can handle the "special" atmosphere that awaits them at Parkhead on Tuesday night.
The Frenchman and his squad fly to Glasgow on Monday afternoon for the first leg of their vital Champions League tie with Celtic. Arsenal are the bookmakers' favourites to win over two legs and take their place in the group stage for a 12th consecutive season, but the Scottish giants proved their own European credentials with an impressive victory at Dinamo Moscow in the previous qualifying round.
Arsenal can expect a hot reception when they kick off in front of a sell-out 58,000 crowd tomorrow. Rangers' noisy travelling support at the Emirates Cup gave Wenger a taste of what to expect and he knows his players must cope with fired-up fans as well as fired-up opponents. But the manager has seen his team prevail at the Bernabeu, the San Siro and the Stadio Olimpico in recent seasons and he believes those experiences will hold Arsenal in good stead.
"You expect a massive support at Celtic," admitted Wenger.
"Scotland is always a very special atmosphere, a special noise in the stands. But we have played everywhere in Europe and we can deal with that. It will be down to us and how well we play.
"We don’t go into this game with fear. We go with respect for Celtic, but we know it is a very important game for us and we want to come home with a positive result.
"I always prepare my team first with determination and not with fear. We have played everywhere and have good experience in the Champions League. But every game is different and we know what we will face on Tuesday night – a very determined Celtic team with quality."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 17 Aug 2009