Martin Odegaard targets ‘special’ win over Tottenham to seal Arsenal’s Champions League return

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Martin Odegaard targets ‘special’ win over Tottenham to seal Arsenal’s Champions League return
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Martin Odegaard says it would be “special” for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League by beating Tottenham in their own backyard.

Arsenal are currently sat fourth in the Premier League, four points clear of Tottenham in fifth, and they are within touching distance of qualifying for the Champions League.

If the Gunners beat Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night they will guarantee a top-four finish and consign their rivals to playing in the Europa League.

Odegaard is hungry to play in the Champions League and the prospect of beating Tottenham to do it is an extra incentive.

“That (qualifying for Champions League) was our big goal this season, so if we can do it we’ll be very happy,” said the midfielder.

“Of course to do it there [at Tottenham] will be special, but the most important thing is to get there and not the way we do it.

“It will be a big game of course. We know what we’re playing for and we know the history of these games and how big it is for the fans. It’s going to be a massive game, so we’re looking forward to it.

“We’re watching all the [Champions League] games and when you watch those games you want to be there and fight for the best games, so that’s the stage we want to be at.”

Arsenal made a miserable start to the season, losing their opening three Premier League games, and few tipped them to finish in the top four this year.

They have, however, bounced back since that rocky start and Odegaard believes they are ahead of schedule under Arteta.

“I think so yeah, but when I signed I said I really believed in the team,” he said.

“I really believed in the project from the manager, and everything the club wanted to do. So I believe we had the chance to do it.

“Maybe we’re a bit ahead of schedule, but still we haven’t done anything. We have to finish it and get into the top four, so that’s the focus now and I think we’re doing well.

“I think I said it after those [opening three] games. We had a difficult start but we knew the quality we had in the team, and we knew it was going to be hard. I think everyone just kept believing and I think that pays off today.”

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