Sokratis urges Gunners to win Cup for missing team-mate

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Sokratis Papastathopoulos says the loss of Henrikh Mkhitaryan is huge, but has urged his Arsenal team-mates to win the Europa League for him.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos says the loss of Henrikh Mkhitaryan is huge, but has urged his Arsenal team-mates to win the Europa League for him.

The Armenian has taken the decision not to travel to Baku with the rest of the Gunners squad due to the issues between his country and Azerbaijan, and fear for his safety.

It is a huge loss for the Gunners, who are lacking options in midfield for the Chelsea showdown, but Greek defender Sokratis says they have to use the setback as extra motivation to get the win.

‘Of course it’s a big loss for us.

We are very sad and now we have to win for him,’ Sokratis said.

‘We have to go (there) and play our game.

To believe we can do it and I think if we give 100 per cent and have a good day, and also luck, because in one game anything can happen (then) we can do it.

‘ Meanwhile, Sokratis believes Arsenal also have to concentrate on their own game and not concern themselves too much with the opposition.

‘They have very good players (and) a good manager,’ Sokratis added.

‘We respect (them) but after we plan to play our game.

To play our game, to create our chances, to be focused, to defend well.

‘To play altogether and in the end to win the game – it’s difficult for us, but it’s also difficult for them.’

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