Arsene Wenger says his “drive to win the Champions League is immense” as Arsenal prepare to open their group campaign at Dinamo Zagreb.
Dinamo have not lost in a formidable run of 41 matches, and last season they became the first team to go unbeaten through a Prva Liga campaign.
However, the Croatians have never previously qualified for the knock-out stages, and have endured a 15-game winless run in the competition proper.
Wenger believes Arsenal must show they have learnt lessons from the disappointing early exit last season at the hands of unfancied Monaco as they bid to go one better than when reaching the final a decade ago.
“This drive to win the Champions League is immense,” said Wenger, who left midfielder Aaron Ramsey and full-back Hector Bellerin back in London, perhaps with one eye on Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.
“It has never been done at Arsenal, we were very, very, very close (in 2006), but on the other hand, I am long enough in the job to know you have to be realistic and know that you put hard work in.
“This is a championship and after the cup competition starts if you get out of the championship, so let’s focus on that first. We are ambitious but we are not dreamers.”
Arsenal won their group last season but succumbed to an Anthony Martial-inspired Monaco at Emirates Stadium.
“We missed one game and it was our home game against Monaco,” Wenger added. “We were not patient enough and wanted to make the difference in the first game. We know we have some way to put that right. It was the regret of last. And we must show we can learn from that.”