Lens manager Franck Haise labels Arsenal as best in Champions League Group

RC Lens manager Franck Haise has labelled Tuesday night’s Champions League opponents Arsenal as the best side Group B during a pre-match press conference. 

Arsenal dispatched PSV 4-0 in their Champions League opener at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are competing in their first Champions League since the 2016/17 season, and are the favourites to quality from their group. Lens, meanwhile, took a point from their opener against Sevilla. Haise has guided Lens to their first Champions League campaign in 20 years, and their draw against Sevilla a fortnight ago has provided the momentum to kickstart their Ligue 1 season too. Prior to the match against the La Liga side, they were winless, but they have won both games since (2-1 v Toulouse, 1-0 v Strasbourg). 

However, Haise has admitted that his side head into Tuesday night’s match at the Stade Bollaert as underdogs. “The technical level and the collective mastery that has been created by coach (Mikel) Arteta makes me think that Arsenal are superior in this group. But each match has its truth,” said the Lens manager in a press conference transcribed by RMC Sport.

The Frenchman doesn’t fear Arsenal, however. “It is a big challenge. There is experience and quality, they have a history and a present. We have met teams like that in Ligue 1 – like PSG, and we’ve had results.”

Haise was also full of praise for Martin Odegaard, whom Lens will be looking to contain. “He is a superb player – intelligent and technically skilled,” said the Lens manager. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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