Arsenal will struggle to enter Champions League knockout stage: Gerrard

London, Nov 25 (IANS) Former England football star Steven Gerrard believes that Arsenal will struggle to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The English Premier League (EPL) giants kept their chances of booking a spot in the last 16 alive with a 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in a Group F clash at the Emirates Stadium here Tuesday night. They now need to beat Olympiakos by at least two goals to ensure their progress in the competition.

But Gerrard believes that Arsenal’s injury problems coupled with a lack of quality in the squad mean Arsene Wenger’s men will struggle to get the result they need in Greece. Arsenal are in the midst of an injury crisis, and Mathieu Flamini started against Zagreb instead of midfielder Francis Coquelin.

After the game, Wenger confirmed that Coquelin faces three months out with a knee injury. The French U-21 player joins the likes of Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck on the sidelines.

“I’m not sure that 11 is capable of going there and getting the result they need,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “They need bodies back certainly to strengthen the bench. It could be one of those games that goes right down to the wire.”

Arsenal will now turn their attention back to the EPL as they travel to Norwich on Sunday looking to recover from the 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

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