Arsenal v Rosenborg
Arsenal need to beat Rosenborg in order to guarantee qualification for the next stage of the UEFA Champions League.
Arsene Wenger will start with Manuel Almunia, who replaced Jens Lehmann in goal in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Birmingham, while Justin Hoyte and Mathieu Flamini fill in for suspended duo Lauren and captain Patrick Vieira respectively.
“[Saturday’s] clean sheet lifts the morale of all the defenders and makes the whole team happy,” the Arsenal manager continued.
“We’ve had a period when we’ve had some problems and the [5-4] victory at Tottenham could not lift us at the time because the defenders were not happy.
“But we can go into Tuesday’s game with more belief, and have all the ingredients to have a positive week. Tuesday is another big obstacle and we are all up for it and want to do well. I think we have the quality to do it.”
Rosenborg have been travelling around London on the tube as they found it the most effective way of avoiding the busy London traffic.
“It’s a nice and comfortable way to travel,” commented Erik Hoftun. “It seems like no-one recognised us.”
The Norwegian champions have a number of injury problems causing forcing coach Per Joar Hansen to reshuffle his pack. Jan Gunnar Solli will figure at right back with Torjus Hansen and Hoftun in the centre of defence.
Frode Johnsen willl be used as a holding midfield player to try and nullify the threat of Jose Antonio Reyes, Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires.
Hansen is aware of the attacking possibilities of the ciurrent Arsenal team.
“You are meeting Arsenal, one of the most famous clubs in Europe, on their home ground,” he said.
“We are finishing a long season with this match and I know the players are eager to produce a good performance.
“Arsenal are maybe the best counterattacking team in Europe so it is important for us to be compact, with good discipline, high morale and to have the courage to keep the ball. If there is a right moment to meet Arsenal maybe this is it. Arsenal will miss their daddy, Vieira.”