After two great performances, we host Fenerbahce tonight in the second leg of our Champions League qualifier. Win, by any score line, we’re in the competition, draw and we’re in the competition, but lose three nil at home to a club from Turkey? Then the game will go to extra time and penalties, where again, we will be in the competition.
Really, this game should be nothing more than a formality. Coming from the back of two consecutive, and dominant victories, as well as a three nil aggregate advantage, it would be nothing short of a travesty if we were not to qualify. Despite this however, I do expect Mr Wenger to field a strong and capable side, but with half an eye on Sunday’s game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the likes of Gnabry, Sanogo and co to feature at some point, and although Wilshere is expected to start, I can’t see him lasting much more than an hour.
So, due to possible rotation, it is difficult to know how we are going to line up, but here is how it might end up looking:
Jenkinson Sagna Mertersacker Monreal
Walcott Rosicky Gnabry
Despite Koscielny being declared fit to play, I seriously doubt he will start, especially with a game of such magnitude on Sunday. Therefore, bar the introduction of Monreal, I expect the back four to be the same as it was at Craven Cottage. The midfield due of Ramsey and Wilshere worked well in the previous fixture of this tie so are likely to stay together, but the front four is where I feel the rotation may happen. With the tie seemingly in the bag, it gives us the chance to introduce a few young prospects into the team to play with freedom, and get the experience of a real European match. Therefore, after impressing on the team’s tour of Asia, I’d like to see Gnabry get himself a start, and being our only signing; I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sanogo start either.
Arsenal 2-1 Fenerbahce
As much as I expect us to win, I can’t see it being as dominant as it was a week ago. Fenerbahce, by all intents and purposes, were extremely poor and quite frankly anything would be an improvement for them. Also, with nothing to lose, I expect that the Turks are going to throw everything at us in order to get a goal (Or four), but with our counter attacking capabilities, that might just play into our hands. Walcott and Sanogo to score…
COME ON YOU GOONERS!