Dinamo determined to give Arsenal a game

Zoran Mamić said he was struggling to find any weak spots in Arsenal's armour, but he is lining his Dinamo Zagreb side up to cause trouble in their opening Group F fixture.

Zoran Mamić's Dinamo will not go down without a fight
Zoran Mamić's Dinamo will not go down without a fight ©Getty Images
  • Zoran Mamić promises a positive approach from the home side
  • Dinamo unbeaten in 41 matches in all competitions, since November 2014
  • The Croatian champions have never made it out of a UEFA group stage in ten attempts
  • Arsenal embarking on their 18th successive group stage campaign
  • Jack Wilshere facing surgery on broken leg

Possible lineups
Dinamo:
Eduardo; Pinto, Sigali, Taravel, Pivarić; Machado, Ademi; Soudani, Rog, Pjaca; Henríquez.
Out: Schildenfeld (ankle), Pavičić (metatarsal), Šovšić (thigh)

Arsenal: Čech; Debuchy, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs; Coquelin, Arteta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Alexis Sánchez; Giroud.
Out: Wilshere (calf), Welbeck (knee), Rosický (knee)

Zoran Mamić, Dinamo coach
Arsenal are a top-quality team – better than us – but our aim is not to sit back and defend. We will try to pose them problems. I met Arsène Wenger when we were selling Eduardo to Arsenal; he is one of the best coaches in the world and is doing a fantastic job at Arsenal. It's a privilege to have him here. I expect a full stadium and a great atmosphere.

In the run-up to the match I told the players we would have two video analysis sessions: one on Arsenal's strengths, which would be an hour long, and one on their weaknesses. I told them we probably wouldn't have anything to show in the second meeting.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger©Getty Images

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
Dinamo Zagreb are strong team, they have real technical quality and very gifted young players. In our last meeting in 2006 it was a very tight game. We won but we needed patience. They had Luka Modrić, Eduardo – it was a very strong team.

In the Champions League you quickly find out if you are not on the top level from the beginning, so we need to focus on what is a vital game. Of course we want to win this competition but we have to be realistic. It's OK to have ambitions, but we can't be dreamers.

Weekend results
Lokomotiva Zagreb 0-4 Dinamo Zagreb (Ángelo Henríquez 36 64, Junior Fernandes 70, Leonardo Sigali 74)
Ángelo Henríquez scored in either half as the visitors sauntered to victory, Junior Fernandes and Leonardo Sigali also on target after the interval.

Arsenal beat Stoke on Saturday
Arsenal beat Stoke on Saturday©Getty Images

Arsenal 2-0 Stoke (Walcott 31, Giroud 85)
The Gunners are fourth in the Premier League, their third win of the campaign coming courtesy of a goal in each half from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)*
Dinamo: WWWDWW
Arsenal: WWDWLW

*This season only

Reporter's view: Vjekoslav Paun (@UEFAcomVjekoP)
Wenger's troops are certainly favourites, but Dinamo have played their best matches of recent years at the start of their European campaigns. Their big hope is the threat posed by the attacking quartet of Ángelo Henríquez – 25 goals in 31 games – El Arabi Hilal Soudani, Junior Fernandes and Armin Hodžić.

Did you know?
The Croatian champions are 41 games unbeaten in all competitions but, as our extensive match background shows, group stage fixtures pose a different challenge altogether.

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