Hamburg out for revenge

November 20, 2006

Hamburg coach Thomas Doll wants revenge on Arsenal for wrecking his team's Champions League campaign.

The Germans visit the Emirates Stadium tomorrow with no hope of qualifying for the second-round stage after losing all four of their Group G matches so far.

But Doll believes the controversial sending-off of goalkeeper Sascha Kirschstein for a foul on Robin van Persie in the first group game on September 13 - a match Arsenal won 2-1 - dealt a near-fatal blow to his team's chances.

'The competition started very badly for us,' Doll reflected. 'We lost our goalkeeper and then Arsenal scored from the [resulting] penalty.

'The memory of that will motivate my players tomorrow night, because it meant our Champions League began on the back foot.

'I can remember the incident very well, and it really hurt.

'We want to show that we are not as bad a team as our results in this competition suggest.'

But Hamburg are also struggling in the Bundesliga, where they are next-bottom, and come into tomorrow's match having drawn 0-0 at Mainz - the only club below them - at the weekend.

They also have a lengthy injury list and are without defenders Juan Pablo Sorin (thigh), Vincent Kompany (Achilles) and Guy Demel (thigh) and midfielder Nigel De Jong (knee).

To make matters worse for Doll, defender Rene Klingbeil will also be missing after suffering suspected ankle ligament damage against Mainz.

But Rafael van der Vaart, who scored the equaliser for Holland in their 1-1 draw with England last week, is expected to line up in midfield for Doll's side.

Doll's team face a high-profile Bundesliga clash at home to Bayern Munich this weekend but the former Germany international laughed off suggestions he would use the Arsenal game merely as a dry run for that encounter.

'This is not a test for the Bayern Munich game - not at all. We are taking this game very seriously indeed,' he stressed.

'We are in a different competition now, even though we cannot qualify for the second round.

'This is the biggest competition in club football in the world and to treat it just as a test for the Bayern game would be a mistake.

'Arsenal need a result so they can qualify for the second round, and they will be fighting hard.'

Goalkeeper Stefan Wachter added: 'We might be out of the competition but we want to prove we are a good team, and we intend to give it our best shot against Arsenal.'