UCL Update: Arsenal must break Mikel Arteta's jinx to advance to the last 8

Arsenal vs FC Porto: Crucial Champions League clash at Emirates, defining moment for Arteta's European record.

UCL Update: Arsenal must break Mikel Arteta's jinx to advance to the last 8
Arsenal's Martin Odegaard insists the club is ready to deal with everything Porto brings to the contest on Tuesday, who will come out tops? (Photo credit: GOAL)


Arsenal’s season could be defined by whatever happens at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday when FC Porto comes to town for the final installment of their Champions League round of 16 tie.

The Portuguese side scored late to win the first leg in Portugal three weeks ago and would be through to the quarterfinals if they just held Arsenal to a draw on Tuesday. There is no away goal rule anymore, so it could go down to extra time and penalties.

Arsenal struggled to create chances at the Estadio de Dragao, got limited to outside efforts, and couldn’t string passes together; the hosts played antics and wasted time as much as they could to frustrate the Gunners. They would seek to do the same on Tuesday.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard admitted that the Gunners couldn’t break free in Portugal but would be ready for everything the visitors bring to the table; he’s confident it’s Arsenal’s to lose despite having a goal deficit.

"There are so many different things going on in each game," said Odegaard. "This game [against Porto] was one where the ball was out of play a lot and there were a lot of stops, starts, restarts, and all this." I think you saw that also against Brentford, and I think we dealt with it brilliantly. I think that was a good practice.

"We already showed in that game what we learned in Porto; hopefully, we can do that even better tomorrow. First of all, we want to play our game. We don't want to focus too much on them and what they are doing. We want to play our game, and that's the main thing.

"We had to deal with a lot of different situations, a lot of time-wasting. We had to control our emotions the whole game, and I think we did that brilliantly."

Mikel Arteta’s record in Europe in knockout phases must change if Arsenal is to advance to the quarterfinals. The Spanish manager has never crossed the second-round hurdle both as a player and as a manager at home.

Arsenal’s momentum is good; they are scoring freely and picking up important points in the title race. Can they go all the way in the league and do the same in the Champions League? Tuesday night is where it begins for Mikel Arteta’s side.

 

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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: UCL Update: Arsenal must break Mikel Arteta's jinx to advance to the last 8
UCL Update: Arsenal must break Mikel Arteta's jinx to advance to the last 8
Arsenal vs FC Porto: Crucial Champions League clash at Emirates, defining moment for Arteta's European record.
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