Napoli vs. Arsenal preview – Gunners must contain Gonzalo Higuaín
Arsene Wenger’s side need to avoid defeat by 3 goals in order to secure safe passage out of the group; and a win will see them finish in first place, giving them a better chance of a favourable tie in the knockout round of 16.
Going into the game, it is clear that Rafa Benitez’ Napoli side is not to be taken lightly, despite Arsenal’s 2-0 win at the Emirates back in October. They are brimming with attacking invention, ably spearheaded by Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín.
The 26-year-old, who was strongly linked with a move to the Gunners in the summer market when at Real Madrid, is Napoli’s main goal-scoring threat.
Signed for a reported £34.5m, Higuain has 3 goals and 2 assists from the 4 Champions League games up until now; and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger recognises the danger the striker poses to his side,
“We’ll have to keep [Gonzalo] Higuaín quiet, he is very dangerous and the more we can play outside of our box, the easier that will be,” Wenger told the Guardian,
“We have to be at our best. An average performance will not be good enough.”
He is right in both cases, with Higuaín set to give the Arsenal defence a real test, as well as the need for the Gunners to be at their very best so as to guarantee progression through to the last 16.