Sparta Prague are aiming to put recent problems behind them and get their Champions League campaign up and running under new coach Stanislav Griga.
The Czech champions face a below-par Arsenal team aware they must take something from the game to sustain a chance of reaching the knockout stages.
Griga accepts that Arsenal have not been at their best so far this season, but he refuses to underestimate them.
“We know Arsenal have problems with injuries at the moment but we also know their squad is pretty strong and they’re a high-quality team,” he said.
“They’re always able to make up for injuries and for any problems they may be suffering – which they proved by taking six points from their first two UEFA Champions League matches.”
Sparta have taken only one point from their opening two matches, and Griga is adamant that they need to add to that tally in back-back games against Arsenal.
“We know how strong Arsenal are at Highbury, so our best chance is getting some points here in the home match. That could be a deciding factor,” he said.
Versatile midfielder Tomas Sivok is out with ligament injury, and Libor Dosek is doubtful after picking up a knock at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have plenty of injury worries of their own. With an understrength line-up coach Arsene Wenger will be happy to avoid defeat in Prague.
“Of course, we will try to win,” he said. “We want to qualify for the next phase of the UEFA Champions League, and hopefully we will be successful as soon as possible.”
Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell, Fredrik Ljungberg and Aleksandr Hleb all miss out through injury, while Dennis Bergkamp’s fear of flying has kept him in London.
However, better news comes with the return of inspirational striker Thierry Henry who may start on the bench tonight.
“We have a lot of injuries and our current situation isn’t good,” Wenger added. “Because of this, if necessary, we will bring him [Henry] on. He’s been training with the team for only a few days but otherwise he’s in good physical condition, and is 100 per cent fit.”