Villarreal, April 24:

Arsenal manager Arsene Wen-ger insists he will not sacrifice his attacking principles when the Gunners take aim at a first ever appearance in the Champions League final on Tuesday.

The English giants defend a 1-0 lead from the first leg of their semi-final clash against Villarreal but the Frenchman is adamant that his side will not sit back on their slight advantage.

“We are a team who can always score,” he said. “For us it is most important to go there and just form a good defensive base every time we go forward and try to win the game.”

The Spaniards were criticised for their cautious tactics at Highbury last week but, inspired by Juan Roman Riquelme, are widely expected to throw off that negative approach. “The best way to deal with that is to score, that would be ideal and that is what we will try to achieve,” said Wenger.

Wenger could be without injured Philippe Senderos but he can welcome back Juan Antonio Reyes, who was suspended for the first leg. Ashley Cole is still not fully fit but Sol Campbell could return after recovering from a broken nose.

Arsenal have remained unbeaten in their ten matches in this season’s competition.

Skipper Thierry Henry shares his coach’s optimism about the mission awaiting them at the El Madrigal Stadium. “With our attacking ability and especially — what for me is the most impressive thing — the fact we are not conceding goals, I can say we are cautiously optimistic,” said the 28-year-old.

“We saw Villarreal at Highbury that would not go forward and tried only to win free-kicks so they could cause us problems. All the youngsters have grown in confidence. A youngster never calculates, he just plays to the limit without thinking too much about where he is,” he said.

Villarreal are in mid-table in Spain and paid a heavy price for resting their leading lights on Saturday when they were beaten 2-0 by Real Sociedad.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini left out Riquelme, Marcos Senna, goalkeeper Mariano Barbosa, Juan Pablo Sorin and Rodolfo Arruabarrena. Striker Diego Forlan came on during the second half.

“We are so close to the Champions League final that it is inevitable that we give more importance to the match against Arsenal,” said Pellegrini.