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Arsene Wenger Champions League vow: “We can knock out Monaco”

Arsenal, 25/1 rank outsiders with Coral to reach the Champions League final, can recover a 3-1 deficit against Monaco in the second leg of their last 16 match, according to manager Arsene Wenger.

“We have a massive challenge but we will give absolutely everything to try and go through,” Wenger said, whose team are 5/1 to qualify for the quarter-finals.

“They are favourites but we can reverse it. We have to make sure the spirit, the belief and the desire is there.”

Monaco didn’t concede in three home Champions League group games, though Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil thinks that a successful last seven days for the Gunners, which saw them knock Manchester United out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford, and follow this up with a 3-0 victory of West Ham in the Premier League.

“In football, things that may look unlikely can happen. I know that if we believe in ourselves and utilise our potential, we can still go through,” Ozil, who is 10/3 to net anytime, said.

“We need to score three goals and Monaco are a team that play defensively, but we have to take initiative and score the first goal as quickly as possible to boost our confidence.

“It is going to be difficult to score three times because they have defended well in the tournament so far, but if you look at our past matches and the way we played against Manchester United [in the FA Cup quarter-final victory] last week, I think there’s a chance we can still progress.”

Wenger’s only concern regarding the game, is purely cosmetic, though the Frenchman knows that this could be a problem the longer the match stays goalless.

“A poor pitch is one of the problems,” Wenger said, alluding to the playing surface at Stade Louis II. “There has been a lot of rain down there and when it rains, it rains. It’s not absolutely fantastic but we won’t have any excuses.”