Tomorrow we take on Fenerbahce in the "Sukru Saracoglu Stadium" stadium and will expect a tough reception from the home side as the Turkish supporters are known for their passionate support, especially when a big team come to town.
The squad for tomorrow's game has been released and here it is:
Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie, Carlos Vela, Nicklas Bendtner, Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, Samir Nasri, Kieran Gibbs, Gael Clichy, Mikael Silvestre, Alex Song, Emmanuel Eboue, Johan Djourou
From this squad, it’s clear to see that we will be without 3 of our first choice defence in Sagna, Toure and Gallas, but a timely return for Johan Djourou increases our options in that department.
Arsene has often adopted a 4-5-1 in European away games, and I reluctantly expect him to do the same thing tomorrow. It’s a hard one to know who will play, as both Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie and Ade are our first choice wingers and strikers, not all of them can play if we go for a 4-5-1 unless Nasri plays more centrally along side Cesc and Denilson fills in the holding midfield role. With Song available and Nasri having a little niggle, we may see the following line up:
Subs: Fabianksi, Hoyte, Gibbs, Walcott, Bendtner, Nasri and Vela.
In this line up, I think Arsene may give Diaby a full run out in midfield as well as resting Walcott and Nasri. I would be tempted to throw in Bendtner instead of Ade, but maybe too many changes aren’t good…
Arsene has been speaking ahead of the game and has focused on the “UEFA is watching you” stance warning Fenerbache not to do anything untoward and stating that the fans will not affect the players. The boss said:
“They have the most passionate fans in Europe. Especially in Istanbul where you have Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.
“It is a unique place and for me it is a special city. But it is very, very tough.
“However it will not affect the players. It could have done 20 years ago but one of the good things done by Uefa is that they protect the players and the competitions so much they know if [the teams] do too much they will be kicked out.
“Every simple thing is filmed. That was not the case 20 or 30 years ago. You had a little more freedom to express your aggressiveness then. But that has gone.”
It’s a game that I can’t wait for, it should be a good game, and will be good to see Diaby and Djourou back in the squad and first XI…
Don’t forget to participate in the World of Arsenal’s first poll, which asks Should Bendtner replace Adebayor in the first XI? At the time of writing, 65% of readers agreed that it was time for a change up top…