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Arsene Wenger
"I'm not looking at my past European record"
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The BBC's Paul Newman
"This evening there is an uneasy calm in the air"
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Nigel Winterburn
"We're all experienced enough"
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David Seaman
"No advantage having played here in 1994"
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BBC's Kate Williams speaks to Arsenal fans en route
"We're not going to cause any trouble"
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Wednesday, 17 May, 2000, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
Gunners told to keep calm
Arsene Wenger speaks out ahead of the Uefa Cup final
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has urged his side to show restraint, during their Uefa Cup final clash against Galatasaray.

The Gunners are tipped as favourites for the match, which was marred on Tuesday when an Arsenal fan was stabbed after an outbreak of violence in Copenhagen's city centre.

Wenger, who looks certain to have veteran right-back Lee Dixon fit after a groin strain in a full-strength line-up, said his side had a responsibility to remain calm on the pitch.

It is sad for me that this is a high-risk match

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger
"We know it is our responsibility to avoid any behaviour on the pitch which could provoke incidents off it," Wenger said." The players are fully conscious of that.

"It is sad for me that this is a high-risk match with fears that people without tickets will come here looking for trouble."

Wenger, who experienced defeat with Monoco in his only previous European final - the Cup-winners Cup of 1992 - said Arsenal should take nothing for granted.

"There is no such thing as a favourite in a final," he said.

"Of course, we feel we have the potential to win - but I always believe that in a final it is 50-50. The UEFA Cup final is a great consolation for us after missing out again in the first stage of the Champions League, but so it is too for Galatasaray.

"We both started the season focused on the Champions League. But now we have this new target, and I am sure we are both passionate about achieving it."

"We must be very careful against Galatasaray. They have some great qualities, and winning this trophy would mean so much to them. When you have played 14 matches to get here then it is obvious how much it must mean."

Turks aim for treble

Galatasaray have just carried off their 14th Turkish title - the third under former national coach Fatih Terim - adding it to the Turkish Cup.

Now they aim to emulate Manchester United's feat last season by completing a famous treble.

Like Arsenal, they failed to progress beyond the first round of the Champions League in which they crashed 5-0 at home to Chelsea.

Arsenal are favourites to take the title
"To me that result was an accident," Wenger said. "Galatasaray knew absolutely that they had to win and after conceding a goal they were forced to take many risks.

"I think their performance at Stamford Bridge - when they were very unlucky to lose 1-0 - was a much more accurate reflection of their ability. People in Germany have told me too that they created a huge impression when beating Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Cup."

Arsenal will rely on Dutch winger Marc Overmars' speed to trouble right-back Davala Unmit - a late replacement for injured Brazilian Capone.

Galatasaray's left back Hakan Unsal also faces a late fitness test on a hip injury.

Those defensive uncertainties will almost certainly dissuade Terim from any thoughts of replacing veteran Brazilian goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel with 19-year-old Kerem Inan, who was an impressive deputy when the World Cup ace was suspended for the Turkish Cup final.

Romanian ace Hagi, 35, and midfielder Buruk Okan have both been passed fit after injury scares, news that will undoubtedly lift Galatasaray fans, though Wenger will expect equal passion from his own supporters.

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See also:

17 May 00 | Football
Tensions after Uefa Cup stabbing
16 May 00 | Football
Wenger committed to Gunners
16 May 00 | Football
The road to Copenhagen
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