Press conference

Wenger on the pitch, weather and Ostersunds

The Gunners have arrived in Sweden for their first match in the country for nearly 20 years, and with the mercury expected to drop below zero for the game on Thursday night, we will have to overcome some tricky conditions in this first-leg match.

The team trained at London Colney on Wednesday morning as usual before European away trips, and the manager explained why he passed up the opportunity to practise on Ostersunds’ artificial pitch the day before the game.

“Because it disturbs the organisation and the way we want to prepare for a game and I think we will adapt," he explained. "We have played sometimes indoors [at Colney]. I have heard this is 4G, we have 3G so it is different and outside it is different as well but no matter, we have not to make too big a problem with it.”

The town of Ostersund is currently under a blanket of snow, and the temperature is expected to be –5C by kick-off on Thursday, but the boss is not unduly worried. 

“We have to adapt quickly because we never practice on this kind of pitch and our technical level should help us to adapt quickly. The temperature at the moment I don't find a big difference with London. We have cold wind as well similar to what has happened here so I don't think the temperature will be a big problem. Our target will be to adapt quickly to the pitch.”