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Young Arsenal star says Emirates will inspire NextGen boys

Serge Gnabry of Arsenal under-19s in action during the last 16 win over holders Inter Milan Serge Gnabry of Arsenal under-19s in action during the last 16 win over holders Inter Milan

Monday, March 25, 2013
11:43 AM

Arsenal host CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals of the Under-19s NextGen Series at the Emirates

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Serge Gnabry believes the chance to play at Emirates Stadium can inspire Arsenal under-19s to NextGen Series success.

The young Gunners have been handed the chance to play at their home stadium in Monday night’s quarter-final against Russian side CSKA Moscow.

And 17-year-old German midfielder Gnabry says he and his team-mates can’t wait for the rare opportunity to grace home turf.

“It’s our club and our stadium. Every single one of us wants to play at the Emirates regularly in the future so playing there against CSKA Moscow is a really positive thing for us and I think we can use it to our advantage,” says Gnabry.

“It’s amazing to play there with the under-21s or the under-19s. It’s a different feeling to playing at the training ground and I think it makes you more motivated.”

The Arsenal boys are managed by Terry Burton, and reached the last eight after knocking out the NextGen holders, Inter Milan, 1-0 in Italy earlier this month despite playing in waterlogged conditions.

“It was amazing,” laughs Gnabry. “The conditions were the worst ever and I think we showed our character. We fought well, adapted to the weather and made it.

“We went through a hard game there and I think it brought us closer together as a team. We fought and worked for each other and that has to happen against CSKA as well.

“Of course we can go all the way,” adds Gnabry, with a place in the finals weekend the prize for Monday night’s victors. The semi-finals and final will take place in Lake Como, over the Easter weekend.

“We’re playing against teams from across Europe and they are good teams. We have to respect them. But we are Arsenal Football Club so we should be aiming to go as far as we can.”

Arsenal v CSKA Moscow, Emirates Stadium, Monday March 25, (7pm). Tickets to the game can be purchased from Arsenal.com for £4 adults/£2 concessions.

Follow Paul Chronnell on Twitter @GazetteGooner

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