Arsenal and Schalke can advance with wins

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LONDON (AP) -- Emboldened by winning the north London derby, Arsenal now has a chance to advance to the knockout round of the Champions League for the 13th consecutive season by beating Montpellier on Wednesday.

After opening Group B with wins over Montpellier and Olympiakos, a loss and a draw with Schalke allowed the German club to claim first place. But Arsenal is only one point behind Schalke, which can also advance Wednesday with a game to spare by beating Olympiakos.

"There is no space for weak games or for another home defeat," Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker said. "We are completely concentrated on this game and we have to take this stage as Arsenal have done in (previous) years.

"The group is still open for the teams, and we have to show we can go through and make clear that Arsenal will go to the next round."

Mertesacker scored his first Arsenal goal on Saturday in a 5-2 victory over Tottenham, a win that lifted the team into sixth place in the Premier League.

"It is important on the back of the Tottenham game we show another good performance and a resolute attitude, that is at stake for me tomorrow," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "After, if we produce the quality performance, we will win the game. We do it step by step. First of all we want to qualify, then try to top the group, so let us just win the game tomorrow."

But a shoulder injury will prevent in-form Arsenal winger Theo Walcott from facing Montpellier, which is last in the group with only one point.

Third place, and a spot in the Europa League, is the best the French champions can hope for now.

Olympiakos is currently third, two points behind Schalke going into their encounter after two victories over Montpellier.

The Greek leaders have been buoyed by the return from injury of top scorer Rafik Djebbour, and impressive form from forward Costas Mitroglou, who has scored five goals in six matches.

"I'm counting on both of them," Olympiakos coach Leonardo Jardim said. "They are good strikers and great finishers. They are an important part of our attacking philosophy."

But a victory would send Schalke through.

"It's all in our hands and we want to convert this match point," Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones said.