Two injury-depleted sides meet in Belgium on Wednesday when Standard Liege make their group-stage debut against Arsenal.
Standard coach Laszlo Boloni hopes “youthful enthusiasm” will make up for the loss of Steven Defour and Wilfried Dalmat.
“It is a great honour to meet Arsenal in the Champions League,” he said. “Arsenal are Arsenal and they are just very good. Arsène Wenger is not only a great man in sporting terms but also a great person.
“I had not anticipated injuries to Defour and Dalmat but I have to deal with them. I still need a few hours to decide what team I will play, but the players’ motivation will be over 100 per cent.
“These young players will be making their Champions League debuts, as every great player has done in the past, so maybe youthful enthusiasm can make up for our lack of experience.
“The most important thing is that my players have the absolute will and desire to play as a team. Anyone who only thinks about their individual game is stupid as we really need teamwork to have a chance against Arsenal.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will hand either Vito Mannone or Wojciech Szczesny a first Champions League start with keeper Manuel Almunia sidelined with a chest infection.
“It’s a big challenge for the young boys to come in for the Champions League with such big pressure, especially as they are away from home,” he said. “You can see when you look at the stadium that it could be quite a heated atmosphere.
“We’re happy to have Eduardo back with so many attacking players out – Arshavin, Walcott, Nasri and Van Persie. Everybody in sport is happy to see Rosicky back because he’s a fantastic footballer. I have 24 hours to decide if he can play, but he has a good chance to start.
“We have much more experience in the Champions League and that’s an advantage, but I watched Standard last year against Liverpool and they played two outstanding games – Liverpool were quite lucky to go through.”