Arsene Wenger has stated that the outcome of Tuesday's matchday 1 UEFA Champions League clash between Arsenal and Paris Saint Germaine will be decided by whoever wins the midfield battle.
This will be Arsenal's first visit to the Parc des Princes since the first leg semi-finals of the 1993/1994 Cup Winners Cup game which ended 1-1.
The Gunners will go into the game on the back of a hard fought 2-1 win against Southampton in the league on Saturday.
PSG will hope to overcome last weekend's home draw against Saint-Etienne.
“For us this is an important match, but there is no symbolic desire to win. We want to play well and win,” Wenger explained during his pre-match press conference on Monday.
“Last year we were second because Bayern were in front of us. Bayern were more consistent.
“I think that PSG are very strong in midfield. The game will be won or lost there.
“Better than all my speeches is the way we play… We are used to the intensity of the Champions League.”
Wenger said the game against PSG will be a good test for his team.
“Both sides are still looking for rhythm… Our calendar is difficult vis-à-vis our physical shape," he added.
“I like to come to Paris, it is a city I love. France is my country. I love my country. PSG are a good test for us.
“I just focus on the next game. It’s every time the same, you want to do well in the next one. My personal case is not at stake.”
On the injury front, the French tactician revealed that Laurent Koscielny has recovered from the injury he sustained against Southampton.
He also expressed delight in the number of experienced players he now has in his team.
“Koscielny is alright, he has recovered quite well,” revealed the Frenchman.
“Mentally we are there, physically not yet.
“I was used to play with much younger squads when we built the stadium because we did not have the resources.
“The squad is between 24-30 basically, because that is where you have the experience.
“PSG have had a little bit the same problems that we have. But I am not worrying for them too much!”Unblock the FIFA World Cup with ExpressVPN the #1 Trusted Name in VPN