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Gunners' hopes are on a knife-edge, says Emery

 

Gunning for win: Arsenal manager Unai Emery
Gunning for win: Arsenal manager Unai Emery

By Carl Markham

Unai Emery believes Arsenal have a "50-50 chance" of reaching the Europa League semi-finals despite taking a 2-0 lead into tonight's second leg against Napoli.

Arsenal dominated the first leg at the Emirates last week as an Aaron Ramsey finish and a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal secured the win inside 25 minutes.

However, Arsenal have struggled on the road since the start of the calendar year and have won just three of their last nine away games in all competitions.

Napoli on the other hand have lost just once at Stadio San Paolo in Serie A all season - against reigning Italian champions Juventus.

"Fifty-fifty, it's not changed for me. We played the first leg at home and we won," Emery told a news conference yesterday. "That's a normal result.

"But when you play here against Napoli, they can beat you, they are very strong at home. (They will test us) tactically and with this atmosphere here they are going to play with courage. They are ready to play with their head and intelligence."

The Gunners will be without on-loan midfielder Denis Suarez after the club confirmed he stayed in London for treatment on a groin problem.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, meanwhile, believes Arsenal's win at Watford on Monday has prepared them to repeat the feat in Naples and secure a place in the Europa League semi-finals.

An unconvincing 1-0 victory against a Hornets side which played for 79 minutes with 10 men was only their sixth Premier League win away from home.

Sokratis, who was banned for Monday's game at Vicarage Road, feels Arsenal can take something from that triumph.

"Of course," Sokratis replied when asked if the Watford success can spread confidence.

"It was an important win for us. Tomorrow we have to play like the game is 0-0."

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