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Wenger sees potential up front

Last Updated: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 14:27
Arsenal

Manager Arsene Wenger remains confident Arsenal have the needed attacking potential to see off the challenge of Besiktas in midweek.

The Gunners returned from the first leg of their play-off against Besiktas at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium with a goalless draw after surviving several scares against Slaven Bilic's well-organised side and the late sending-off of midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Wenger, though, knows his side cannot be too cautious as they look to qualify for the lucrative elite European competition for a remarkable 17th consecutive campaign.

"I would say even if you concede, the target is to win the game. We conceded against Crystal Palace and still won the game," said Wenger.

"The task is clear - we are at home, we want to qualify for the Champions League group stage and the target is to win the game.

"No matter what happens, I think we have the potential to win the game."

If Arsenal are to progress then they will certainly need to improve sharpness in the penalty area, with France forward Olivier Giroud missing several good chances before a late drive from substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was touched on to the far post.

Wenger could have both Yaya Sanogo, who missed the first leg with a hamstring problem, and Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell as other options should he aim to mix things up in attack.

Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski should also be available for the tie with Per Mertesacker brought in to shore up the defence.

"When you don't score people are critical about goals and I agree with them, but we had chances and having watched the game again I believe we had the chances against Besiktas and much more than we had against Crystal Palace," said Wenger.

"Joel Campbell can contribute to that. At the moment he has not got his chance, but he will get it."

Besiktas hit the crossbar almost straight from kick-off when an audacious long-range effort from Demba Ba, the former Chelsea striker, was touched on to the woodwork by Wojciech Szczesny.

Despite not making the most of their chances, Ba believes the Turkish side, who last qualified for the group stages in 2009/10, can head to England positive of getting a result.

"I think we were the better team on the pitch and we could have taken advantage of the dominance we had of the whole game," he said on www.uefa.com.

"Unfortunately it didn't happen - some days are just like this - so we will try to make it happen in London next week."

Bilic, the former West Ham and Everton defender, must serve a UEFA-imposed one-match touchline ban at the Emirates Stadium having been sent to the stands by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic towards the end of the first leg.

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