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Szczesny - Tough draws have hampered us

Wojciech Szczesny believes Arsenal’s progress in previous Champions League campaigns has been hampered by tough draws in the knockout stage.

The Gunners have lost in the last-16 four years in a row after being drawn against AC Milan and eventual champions Barcelona and Bayern Munich, twice.

Despite being handed a difficult group this season, Szczesny is confident his side can make it through and compete against the very best.

"We've got a really strong squad that can challenge for more trophies and more success in the Champions League this season"

Wojciech Szczesny

“Over the last few years we've struggled with very tough draws in the last 16,” he said. “We've gone up against very strong teams and we've struggled a little bit but hopefully we'll get to that stage again - that's the most important thing again, to get through the group stage.

“We've got a very tough group so it won't be easy. I think we've got a really strong squad that can challenge for more trophies and more success in the Champions League this season. Hopefully that will be the case.”

The Gunners begin this season’s European campaign away to Borussia Dortmund, who they beat 1-0 in Germany last season and Szczesny believes that will give the team confidence this time around.

“It was a very good game,” the goalkeeper said. “We know how good the Dortmund team is and we came and got a very good result. We kept a clean sheet as well which was nice. So hopefully we’ll keep the same attitude and we’ll be looking to repeat that result.”

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