Arteta impressed with the rise of Bodo/Glimt

Bodo/Glimt celebrate scoring against Roma

Having seen Bodo/Glimt’s exploits over the past few seasons, Mikel Arteta has been left in doubt that Thursday night’s encounter will be a tough one. 

Despite being a relative newcomer on the European football scene, Bodo made many take notice last term when they thrashed Roma 6-1 in the Europa Conference League group stage - the first time a Jose Mourinho-managed side had conceded that amount in one game.

They went on to reach the quarter-finals of that competition and have made an unbeaten start to their Europa League campaign, drawing 1-1 against PSV in Eindhoven before beating FC Zurich at home.

Kjetil Knutson has also guided the team to back-to-back Norwegian league titles, so an incredibly-impressed Arteta is taking nothing for granted when the team from the Arctic Circle make the trip to north London.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said: “We’ve done our homework. We have made the players aware of the team that we are facing tomorrow, the history and what they’ve done in the last few years.

“There are a few really good players and it’s a really good coach as well, and they have a clear identity with how they play. You can see straight away what they are trying to do and again I’ve been impressed with them.”

The boss also admitted that he sought the opinion of his skipper Martin Odegaard, who could face his fellow countrymen tomorrow night, and who has been stressing the importance of avoiding any complacency ahead of the first of two encounters with Bodo over the next week.

“We have Martin in the squad who knows them really well,” Mikel added. “He’s done his homework in the dressing room to [ensure the squad] understands that tomorrow is going to be a tough game.

“We just spoke about what I saw. I will do the same with the staff, and he was really clear. He said exactly the same opinion and that tomorrow will be a really tough match.”

A win on Thursday will see us leapfrog our opponents into top spot, and with the group winners automatically proceeding into the round of 16, Arteta is keen to win as many early group games as possible to give his side the best opportunity to progress deep into the tournament.

“It’s a competition that is really important for us,” he said. “We know how important it is to be on top of that group. We have tough competition, and the home advantage so we have to use it. That’s why tomorrow’s game is really important for us.”

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