Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin says the Gunners are completely focused on Thursday’s Europa League clash, rather than Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea. Arsenal are 2/7 to win against FC Koln before they face the defending champions on the weekend, but Bellerin says the squad aren’t thinking about anything other than beating Koln.
“Our focus is on Thursday’s game. It is a very important match to start the Europa League on the right foot. We have to give our best and only after that will we start to think about Chelsea [Sunday 1.30pm]. The Europa League is a very important competition for us,” he said to IBTimes.
“We know that if we have the possibility of winning it, we will return to the Champions League next year, which is one of our targets. It’s a competition that we know we can win and we’re going to fight as much as in the other competitions to do it. Whoever plays, we are going to give our best.”
Bellerin is likely to feature against FC Koln in Thursday’s Europa League clash, as are a lot of regular first-team players according to manager Arsene Wenger. Arsenal will make some changes for the midweek encounter but won’t take too many chances and risk not progressing to the knockout stages.
Despite it not being the Champions League, the prize for winning the European tournament is an extra place in the prestigious competition. But Arsenal will still have an eye on their meeting with Chelsea, as they still want to be in contention of a top-four finish and not be solely reliant on the Europa League.