Rafa will not have any complacency coming from his Newcastle players.
And he has rubbished the fact that Arsenal may be tired because of their long journey to Moscow yesterday to play CSKA Moscow in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Rafa really wants to win this game and has confidence his team can do that – get all 3 points and safety in the Premier League.
Rafa points out the experience of the Arsenal team who have played in Europe ever since Arsene Wenger arrived back in 1996.
And they are used to playing two games a week and have the squad in both quantity and quality to cope with that.
Rafa Benitez and Arsene Wenger meet in Champions League – when Rafa was the manager of Napoli
This is some of what Rafa said in his press conference today:
“Normally, you can be tired after traveling.“At the same time, if you have a big squad, you will be fine.”
“I don’t think it will be an advantage for us.”
“The reality is that Arsenal is one of the top sides in English football.” “They have very good players, a very good manager with great experience.”
“If I say they are favorites, I am not playing games. I have confidence that we can beat them.”
“Forty points is the mark,” “We are closer than before, but still, two points will be the key and the mark we are aiming for.”
“If any players has (sic) any doubt, I will put another player on the pitch.”
Arsene Wenger will now need to win the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League for next season.
But the Gunners have been drawn against the team they didn’t want to meet – Atletico Madrid – when the semi-final draw was made today.
However, they can still beat Atletico if they play somewhere near their best and it definitely will be a tie worth watching.