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Surging Gunners ready for Montpellier

  • Reuters, Monday, September 17, 2012 5:30 PM

Riding the momentum of 2-0 and 6-1 Premier League victories, Arsenal opens its Champions League campaign Tuesday at Montpellier. Arsenal is unbeaten in eight away matches against French teams and has a vast edge in European experience. Montpellier is a neophyte, Arsenal is playing in the Champions' League for the 15th consecutive year.

"We look like a team who plays together, we are willing to do well. There is a great desire in the team," Arsenal's French coach Arsene Wenger told a news conference on Monday.

Montpellier, surprise league champion last season for the first time in its history, is 16th in Ligue 1 with just four points from five matches. During the offseason Olivier Giroud changed teams but Wenger doesn't see that as a reason for Montpellier's struggles.

Wenger, a native of Strasbourg, coached for a decade in the French league before taking over at Arsenal in 1996 after one season in Japan. "I know (Montpellier coach) Rene Girard very well," Wenger said. "I fought some battles here and it always had been very aggressive, very 'Mediterranean' and very exciting."

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