Mikel Arteta has been advised not to take the visit of Dundalk lightly this week.
Arsenal host Dundalk on Thursday night in the sides’ second outing in Group B of the Europa League and while the Gunners will be considerable favourites to come out on top, Arteta is preparing his team for a tough challenge.
Arteta works with a number of Irish staff members, who have advised the Arsenal manager to take Dundalk seriously at the Emirates.
“We’ve got some Irish staff here,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“I’ve heard some really positive things about Dundalk. What I’ve seen is a really determined coach, how united they are, they are really well organised and they fight really hard.
“They will come here with an incredible passion. They are the underdogs. That will give them a lot of energy and I expect them at full gas trying to beat us here.
“This is football. I have seen a lot of things in this game and I never take anything for granted. I always expect the opponent to be at their best. We’ll see what happens.”
Arteta also provided some team news for the Europa League clash, revealing that David Luiz would not be fit enough to line out against last season’s SSE Airtricity League of Ireland champions.
“There is no chance [David Luiz will face Dundalk],” Arteta added. “He’s a big doubt for the weekend too.
“Willian is back in training, he might be involved at some stage. Bukayo Saka is fine, it was a knock, but he’s fine.”
Dundalk cannot retain their league title after Shamrock Rovers were crowned Irish champions last weekend but the Lilywhites will find themselves up against some big names at the Emirates on Thursday.
Dundalk suffered a 2-1 defeat to Molde on the opening gameweek of Group B, while Arsenal came out on top against Rapid Wien.