Dynamo Kyiv coach Yuri Semin has urged his team to “focus on their own game” as the Ukrainian outfit look to put behind them last season’s dire Champions League campaign in which they failed to collect a single point.
Semin is undaunted by the prospect of facing an Arsenal side who have scored seven times without reply in their last two Premier League matches.
“Europe’s top club competition is back,” he said. “We have been looking forward to it and dreaming about it. Judging by our recent performances I can say we are ready.”
Semin watched Arsenal’s 4-0 away win at Blackburn on Saturday and was impressed by what he saw.
“Arsenal impressed me very much,” said Semin. “They are a young team who play a passing game which has proved successful. They enjoy the football they play. We have to treat all their team with respect because they are high-profile players, so we will not have someone chasing Adebayor for 90 minutes.
“If I definitely knew how to beat Arsenal then I would be a magician,” he added. “But I know that if we focus on our own game and play to our potential, we stand a good chance. The game will show what are our strengths and our weaknesses. We have many strong points and now it is important to put them into practice.”
Arsène Wenger admits he was impressed by Kyiv’s 8-2 aggregate victory over Spartak Moscow in the third qualifying round.
“We respect Dynamo Kyiv,” Wenger said. “I feel their main strengths are that they are very efficient, they work very hard and they are very disciplined. Up front, with [Artem] Milevskiy and [Ismaël] Bangoura, they can also score goals. But we are not afraid, we are afraid of nobody.
“Now it is better to be starting [the group stage] than two weeks ago, because many players came back too weary from the [UEFA] European Championship. Now everybody is ready physically to play at the top level.”
“Kiev is always a very difficult place for us,” he admitted. “If you do not prepare well mentally you will get surprised by the level of commitment when you play in Ukraine.”