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Thursday 21
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Arsenal

Pires optimistic of Arsenal progression

13th March 2019, 12:50 by James Mason

Robert Pires says Arsenal have it in them to overturn a two-goal deficit in Thursday's Europa League clash with Rennes.

In a surprise result, Arsenal lost 3-1 at Ligue 1 outfit Rennes in the first leg of their last-16 clash although the visitors were under the gun when Sokratis was sent off in the 41st minute.

Since that defeat, the Gunners have managed to bounce back to winning ways with a 2-0 home win against rivals Manchester United, making it five straight wins at the Emirates in all competitions.

Although two goals down heading into the second leg on Thursday, Frenchman Pires is confident his former employers can book their place in the quarter-final stage of the tournament.

"I'm confident and positive, like the players. All of the players and Unai Emery know that they played bad against Rennes, but this is football," he told Marca. "Maybe it's because Rennes played well.

"The atmosphere was very good, the fans added pressure and unfortunately Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] was sent off, but we have a second chance at home at the Emirates.

"It's strange, but maybe after the Manchester United win I have a good feeling. Anything is possible because when Arsenal play at home they can beat any team."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.

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