Aaron Ramsey key to Arsenal progression, says Ray Parlour

Aaron Ramsey

The Gunners must beat Olympiakos in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Ray Parlour has told Talksport that midfielder Aaron Ramsey could be key to Arsenal’s chances of beating Olympiakos and progressing in the Champions League.

The Gunners travel to Greece needing to win by two goals, or win by a one-goal margin and score three times if they are to advance from Group F.

They find themselves in this situation having lost three of their five games in the group so far, with the Greek side beating them at the Emirates earlier in the campaign.

Injuries have ravaged the squad, with several key men missing for the crunch clash. One who isn’t missing is Aaron Ramsey, and Parlour says he could be key for Arsene Wenger's side.

“It’s a huge game. They’ve got to go there and believe, but the big players have got to turn up,” he told TalkSport.

“I think Ramsey will be key, I think the way he breaks into the box at times could be key. All the key players have got to play well.”

If they fail to progress, a place in the Europa League beckons for the Gunners, courtesy of a third placed finish.

Many have anticipated that participating in Europe’s second tier competition could be disastrous for their Premier League title challenge this season.

English sides have failed to marry their league form with the Europa League in recent seasons, with the Thursday-Sunday schedule proving gruelling for them.

And Parlour believes Wenger will not take the competition seriously with the title race so wide open this season.

“Arsenal won’t get a better opportunity to win the league than this year,” he added.

“They’re in a really good position behind Leicester at the top of the table; it’s a league that anyone can win.

“I don’t think he’ll take it [the Europa League] seriously because those Thursday-Sunday games can be a hindrance for you.”

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch