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Football | Arteta wary of 'passionate underdogs' Dundalk

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Dundalk will come to the Emirates with "an incredible passion" in Thursday's Europa League group stage clash in North London.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Irish staff at the club have warned him that Dundalk will come to the Emirates with "an incredible passion".

The Gunners host the Lilywhites in their second Europa League match in Group B, having opened their European campaign with an away win against Rapid Vienna.

Dundalk, who officially surrendered their Premier Division crown to Shamrock Rovers this week, suffered a 2-1 defeat to Molde at Tallaght Stadium.

Filippo Giovagnoli's side visit the Emirates as huge underdogs, but Arteta is taking nothing for granted against the Irish club.

"We've got some Irish staff here," Arteta said.

"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."

Arsenal enter the match looking somewhat threadbare in the centre of defence, with Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes the only fit centre halves available to face Dundalk.

David Luiz has been ruled out through injury, while William Saliba and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were omitted from the Europa League squad.

The Gunners, who lost 1-0 to Leicester City in the Premier League last weekend, will also have one eye on this weekend's visit to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.


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