The side third in the Irish league are aiming to cause a massive surprise at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday in their Europa League clash
Dundalk manager Filippo Giovagnoli says that if his side are to stand a chance in the Europa League against Arsenal, they will have to make the Premier League giants feel “uncomfortable”.
The League of Ireland side travel to the Emirates on Thursday for what is, on paper, an incredible mismatch, as the Italian admitted.
Drawing on a boxing analogy, though, he refused to dismiss his side’s chances of causing an upset.
“We just need to try to make them uncomfortable,” he told the media. “The difference in quality is obvious. What a lightweight can do with a heavyweight is they have to work more. If you get close to them then they’re going to kill you.
“There’s not really a way to compare the two sports in terms of performance because a lightweight eventually has to run more. How is it possible to run more than Arsenal?
“We just have to match their intensity for a part of the game and stay focused and play with passion and with these kind of characteristics.”
The Gunners may be depleted at centre-back, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi their only two fit options, but Giovagnoli does not believe that will make a great difference.
“They can pick any player and they’re going to be a top player,” said Giovagnoli. “It’s more important to understand what is their style and how they’re going to play instead of looking at the players. The way that they are going to build up, the way that they are going to attack, where they attack, what they do.
“It’s a huge challenge to be here and play one of the best teams in the world.”
Dundalk presently lie third in the League of Ireland Premier Division, sitting on 25 points after 16 games, well off the pace of leaders Shamrock Rovers, who have won 12 of their 14 matches and have a goal difference of plus-31.
The Irish side, meanwhile, are coming off a 2-1 loss to Molde at home – a game in which they led at the break – and are seeking a first European group-stage victory away from home.