As both Arsenal and Tottenham venture out into Europe’s elite club competition this season, their expectancies are seemingly contrsating to some degree.
Tottenham will be hoping that they can reach the knockout stages, coming through a group that boasts the likes of Werder Bremen and holders Inter Milan, whereas, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes that his side has more than enough talent in its ranks to bring the Champions League title back to the Emirates this season.
Arsenal came close to lifting the trophy back in 2006, when they suffered heartbreak in a 2-1 defeat to Spanish giants Barcelona, a match which will be remembered for the dismissal of goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
Four years on since that fateful night in Paris and Wenger believes his side are ready to go one further this time round:
“We are equipped to win the Champions League, yes. We have in our squad a good mix of quality and experience. When you see our team play, they are no longer tender.”
Arsenal will be looking to open with three points as they play host Portuguese side Braga on Wednesday, a side which eliminated Scottish outfit Celtic comfortably in the earlier rounds.
North London rivals Spurs face a difficult opener as they travel to Germany to take on Werden Bremen, in a game which the White Hart club will be looking to perform well in if they are to achieve their goal of reaching the latter stages.
With striker Jermaine Defoe out of action for at least two months following surgery, more of the onus to perform falls upon new signing Rafael Van Der Vaart who joined the club from Real Madrid on deadline day.
Having played Bremen on numerous occasions, during his three year spell at Hamburg, Van Der Vaart is more than confident that Spurs can start their Champions League journey with a win.
Manager Harry Redknapp has also followed his Dutch playmaker, in stating that Tottenham will worry one of two teams this year:
With both expectation and optimism high in North London, bitter rivals Arsenal and Spurs will be hoping they can get off to ideal starts in this years competition. However, both will be looking to out last each other and claim top bragging rights as the competition goes on.
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