Arteta: Topping Europa League group 'such an important thing' for Arsenal
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Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to secure top spot in Group A
Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to secure top spot in Group A

Mikel Arteta highlighted the importance of Arsenal securing top spot in Europa League Group A ahead of their showdown with PSV.

The Gunners confirmed their qualification from the first phase with a 1-0 victory over the Dutch giants last week, and a point at Philips Stadion would be enough to send them through as group winners.

Whoever finishes second in Group A will face a two-legged play-off against one of eight sides dropping out of the Champions League, with potential opponents including Juventus and Barcelona.

Arteta is subsequently keen to avoid any additional hassle.

"Last week, we made the first step, which was to qualify for the next round. We need to win [on Thursday] because we want to finish first," the Spaniard said during his pre-match press conference.

"This competition is getting harder and harder and how it looks today and what the possibilities are, it looks like the next round is going to be extremely competitive.

"That's why finishing first in the group and avoiding another two games is such an important thing for us."

Arteta, who will be without Marquinhos through illness for the trip to Eindhoven, also defended his decision not to rotate his squad more during the opening weeks of the season.

Arsenal have won 13 of their 15 matches across all competitions this term, though it was suggested the players looked fatigued during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Southampton.

"We don't have that many players," the Gunners boss added. "Even the players that we have, we are bringing four kids with us so we can make the squad.

"We need to put 11 players there, and they have to play. We cannot always change 10, 11 players every game."


ArsenalPSV EindhovenEuropa League
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