Press conference

Wenger on Belgrade, Stojkovic, Debuchy

We will face Red Star Belgrade for the first time since the 1978/79 season when we run out at the Rajko Mitic Stadium on Thursday night.

It is famed for being one of the most intimidating grounds in Europe, but Arsene Wenger is confident his young squad can handle the pressure.

This is what he said in his pre-match press conference:

on the atmosphere at the game…
The support of the team always has a positive impact, but we have the habit to deal with that – we have these stadiums in England and we have long experience in the Champions League. I don’t think that will have a negative impact on us. But of course, we are in a country which has a big football tradition, has produced fantastic players in history, a country that knows team sport and knows football very well. So we expect of course a game with huge commitment from everybody.

on Dragan Stojkovic…
He came to visit me a few times at Arsenal. I had him as a player at Grampus Eight and he was an exceptional player. We still are in contact. He texted me because he wanted me to speak to a journalist. I followed his career because he had a good career as a coach, one day maybe he will come back to Serbia.

on Mathieu Debuchy being in the squad…
It’s a possibility that he starts tomorrow. He has not played for a long time because every time he is close to coming back he gets injured again.

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