David Luiz believes that Arsenal boast “the quality” to savour Europa League glory this season and book a return to Champions League competition through a continental route.
A top-four finish in the Premier League is once again looking to be beyond the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta’s side remain in contention – with it possible that fifth may be good enough given the sanctions imposed on Manchester City – but they sit 10th in the table at present.
With a seven-point gap to bridge and a number of ambitious rivals also in the mix, domestic doors appear to be closing on the north London outfit.
A European one remains open, though, with Arsenal readying themselves for a meeting with Olympiacos on Thursday.
Greek heavyweights are to be faced at the last-32 stage of the Europa League, but last season’s beaten finalists already have their eyes locked on the ultimate prize.
“I think we have the quality for that, but step by step,” Brazil international defender Luiz told reporters.
“It’s not easy, Olympiacos have a great team, they did amazing against Tottenham, they did amazing against Bayern Munich.
“It’s a pitch where I have been many times and it’s always difficult, so it’s up to us to continue in the right way, being humble and improving our game.”
Arsenal face the toughest of tests as they prepare to take to the field in Athens.
Olympiacos have suffered just one defeat on home soil this season, with that solitary setback coming at the hands of Bayern Munich.
The Gunners’ north London rivals Tottenham have already failed to emerge victorious at the Karaiskakis Stadium in the Champions League this term.
Luiz is fully aware of the challenge that Arteta’s side face, but expects them to rise to it and take a positive result back with them to Emirates Stadium ahead of a return date on February 27.
He added: “It’s an amazing place.
“When you play football, this is the type of place you love to play.
“I think it’s a great country, it’s a country where you enjoy to play football. It’s not just for vacation. It’s a difficult place to play football, but also it’s a nice game.”