It may seem strange that Arsenal are being linked with a player who failed to impress at West Brom, but the Spanish midfielder Borja Valero has been a key figure in the success of the Serie A club Fiorentina this season. The 28-year old joined the Italian club from Villareal in the summer and has been a fixture in the Fiorentina side, scoring twice and setting up 10 goals in their race to qualify for the Champions League.
Olivier Giroud was one of the main reasons for Montpellier’s success, before he signed for Arsenal this summer. The big striker has warned his team mates at the Emirates that there is plenty of talent left in the French side, despite their struggles so far this season. Like a wounded animal, the French champions could be dangerous and could put a spanner in to the works of Arsenal’s European campaign.
“Montpellier have nothing to lose now they are already eliminated but we have to be careful as that’s when some teams are most dangerous.
“They didn’t become champions of France with no talent. We must not take anything for granted when they come to the Emirates.
Montpellier have had a terrible start to their defence of the first French title in the club’s history, losing three of the first five. This has caused mass optimism in the Arsenal ranks but we should be wary of the French champions on their home soil tonight.
Many in the football press are attributing Montpellier’s poor league form to the fact that they are concentrating on tonight’s game. Not only is it their first ever match in the champion’s league, but Arsenal are the biggest name they have ever faced. Along with the history of the Gunners is the French connection with Arsene Wenger and a host of players such as Thierry Henry, Pires, Viera, Petit et al.