Besiktas vs Arsenal Preview
It’s that time of the year for Arsenal when they find themselves in needless pressure as they prepare for their Champions league group stage qualification match. Arsene Wenger takes his men to Istanbul to face Besiktas after what was an average opening game against Crystal Palace in the weekend season opener. On paper the Gunners are clear favuorites to win the tie and go into the game with a strong line-up despite the German trio’s unavailability.
Besiktas have been lucky to come this far after Fenerbache, who finished above them last season was banned from European games due to match fixing allegations, but the home side will have to work their socks off, if they are hoping to go further in the competition. The club are yet to begin their league campaign and lost to Championship side Wigan in their pre-season game, something which the Gunners will look into. However, the Turkish club beat Feyenoord in the previous round of the qualification and have managed to snap up Demba Ba from Chelsea, the man who was heavily linked with a move to the Emirates last season. So it will be an interesting clash tonight.
With almost three games in the space of one week, Arsene Wenger has warned his Arsenal players that they face a stern test of character ahead of the game and admitted that his team are “short of preparation”.
“We had a short preparation and we know that in one week we have three big games: Besiktas home and away and Everton in between. Every challenge is different and beating a Turkish team away from home is very difficult but we want to perform at our best. Besiktas are on the back of a good result against Feyenoord [in the third qualifying round] but we’re on our toes and want to produce a good result.”
Besiktas vs Arsenal Team news:
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the German trio remain unavailable for the selection and will not take any part in the game. Koscielny’s recovery in time to train ahead of the game, leaves Wenger to drop the plans of rushing Mertesacker back to action. Keiran Gibbs is also out of the game as he suffered a knock against Crystal Palace, which gives Nacho Monreal another chance to impress.
For the home side, midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, who is down with a hamstring problem is a major concern, but Demba Ba is expect to start along with influential midfielder Kerim Frei.
Besiktas vs Arsenal Match Facts:
- Besiktas have never previously faced Arsenal and last reached the Champions League group stage in 2009-10.
- The Turkish club are yet to begin their domestic season, with their opening match coming against Mersin Idmanyurdu at the end of August.
- The Gunners could be without defender Kieran Gibbs for the trip as he was forced off with an apparent hamstring injury in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on the opening day of the new Premier League season.
- Arsene Wenger has also confirmed that German internationals Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski will not return before the team’s trip to Everton next weekend as they continue their post-World Cup breaks.
- Slaven Bilic will also look to Kerim Frei to cause problems for the Premier League side after he played a big role in their victory over Feyenoord in the previous round.
Besiktas vs Arsenal Possible Lineups:
Besiktas: Zengen; Kurtulus, Sahan, Pektemek, Hutchinson; Ozyakup, Uysal, Frei, Gulu, Ramon; Ba
Arsenal: Szczesny; Monreal, Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny; Arteta, Sanchez, Ramsey, Rosicky Campbell; Giroud
Besiktas vs Arsenal Prediction:
As discussed above, it should be an easy win for the North London outfit. Despite a good midfield and an inform Demba Ba, the Turkish side doesn’t have what it takes to beat the Gunners. A comfortable 2-0 for the travelling side.