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Ostersund boss says they will make history if they see off Arsenal

Ostersund boss Graham Potter says his side need to pull off one of the biggest upsets in history to beat Arsenal and seal a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Ostersund, a club formed a month after Arsene Wenger was appointed Arsenal boss in 1996, travel to the Emirates Stadium after losing the first leg 3-0 in Sweden last week.

The Gunners are all but assured of safe passage into Friday’s draw as they welcome a team who were in the fourth tier of Swedish football when Potter took over in 2011.

The former West Brom, Stoke and Southampton defender revolutionised the club and turned them into a top-flight side, culminating in their first piece of silverware when they lifted the Svenska Cupen last season.

That resulted in a scarcely-believable European campaign which took in victories over the likes of Galatasaray, PAOK and Hertha Berlin.

But the adventure looks set to end on Thursday night, with Potter conceding Ostersund require an upset of the ages in north London.

“You need one of the biggest football miracles to go through, so we have nothing to lose,” he said.

“The only thing you have is the regret of not giving it everything. It is a wonderful opportunity for the players and myself to have this experience.”

It was put to Potter that Wigan’s FA Cup giant-killing of the seemingly invincible Manchester City on Monday night could be held up as an example of such an upset but, while the 42-year-old agreed, he knows an even bigger shock is needed here.

“We probably need a bigger miracle, but it is an inspiration in terms of that it can happen,” he added.
“We start 3-0 down and are away, we are coming to the Emirates – it is as tough a place as anywhere in world football.

“We will be proud of what we have done, no matter what the result is we will leave with our heads held high.

“Seven years ago I left here from Heathrow to go to a fourth-division team in Sweden and tomorrow I will leave with 5,000 fans from Ostersund.”

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