Press conference

'It is an amazing and important game here'

Granit and Papa

Granit Xhaka was unequivocal when asked about the importance of us winning the Europa League when he faced the media in Baku on Tuesday night.

"A club like Arsenal has to be in the Champions League. It is an amazing and important game tomorrow. We want to give us, club and fans the Champions League back," the Swiss midfielder said.

Along with Sokratis, the pair answered questions about the match, their preparations and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's absence.

Read on for a full transcript of the press conference:

Sokratis on the Greek national team wishing him well…
Of course I am happy I saw this, it means that what I have said a lot is that the Greek national team is one family. I feel like the Greek people are behind Arsenal, and behind me and I hope that they bring some luck.

Sokratis on whether it will be Laurent Koscielny's last game...
I think tomorrow first of all we we have to win the game and I think Lolo will stay a lot of years. I am very happy that I played with him. I will be very happy if I continue to play with him.

Sokratis on a message to Henrikh Mkhitaryan... 
With Mkhitaryan, because we are five or six years together, we are very good friends. I wrote [on Twitter] what I feel. We have also to play for him and the players who are injured. Tomorrow is... if we win this game it is also for them.

Xhaka on whether it's an advantage to arrive before Chelsea...
We travelled on Saturday night, since Sunday we have been here in Baku. We feel very good. I don't know whether it is positive or negative to be here longer than Chelsea. We prepared very well to be ready for tomorrow.

Xhaka on Mkhitaryan... 
Of course we are disappointed he is not here. We spoke a lot about Micki and a lot of political things but it is time to speak about football. He is very important for us, on the pitch and off the pitch, and we want to give him a trophy tomorrow. 

Sokratis on facing Eden Hazard...
We play against a good team, it is not about one player. We work very well over the past few days about this. Chelsea are a Avery good team, with very good players. We respect Chelsea but we came here to play our football and we know if we want to be in the Champions League next season we have to win this game. For us is more motivation. We did a lot of work about this game over the last days. 

Xhaka on Emery's record in the Europa League...
He has a lot of experience in this competition. If one coach wins the Europa League three times, it means a lot. We want to give him the fourth one tomorrow night. He spoke a lot about his experience and what he had before, but these words stay between us. 

Xhaka on the importance of getting Champions League football...
We are now two times in a row in the Europa League. A club like Arsenal has to be in the Champions League. It is an amazing and important game tomorrow. We want to give us, club and fans the Champions League back. If you watched the season maybe we deserved to be there in the top four. Tomorrow is a big game, it is a trophy and we can go back to the Champions League.

Sokratis on getting back into the Champions League...
I think the same as Granit: I think it is very important for the club, for our fans, and for us personally. It is a big chance to take this home.

Xhaka on getting good away results in Europe...
It was our problem in the season, if you take more points away from home maybe you can be in the top four. But we showed against Napoli and Valencia, good away games, if we play like this, play compact and play or each other, we can beat a lot of teams. Tomorrow is not about away or home, it is a final and we have to be ready. It is not an excuse that we play in Baku or someplace different. I think we will be ready for tomorrow.

Xhaka on not many Swiss players winning a European title...
There are two in the Arsenal squad who are Swiss! Of course we are proud if we can win a trophy. I know not a lot of Swiss people have won this trophy and we have first to play the 90 minutes, and if we take the trophy we will be very happy. 

Sokratis on how he will react if we lose...
I don’t like to think about this. I like to win. I am here to win. I don’t think negative. I will give 100 per cent for the win.

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