Besiktas vs Arsenal: Champions League match preview

A look ahead to this week’s Champions League qualifier at Ataturk Olympic Stadium

Arsenal begin their Champions League campaign with a trip to Turkey to face Besiktas in the first leg of their qualifying round tie on Tuesday, with the Gunners aiming to feature in the Champions League group stage for a 17 successive time.

Fresh off the back of an opening day 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace, Arsene Wenger’s men will be hoping to build upon a solid start to the season in Istanbul.

It took a late Aaron Ramsey goal to seal that match and Arsenal will be hoping for more of the same from the Welshman, who is becoming quite the talisman for his team. Arsenal fans will also be hoping to see more from new marquee signing Alexis Sanchez; the former Barcelona man starred for Chile at the World Cup and will be looking to kick-start his Arsenal career with a strong performance.

However, there are defensive worries for Wenger with Kieran Gibbs ruled out with a hamstring injury and Per Mertesacker still not match-fit after an extended break following the World Cup. Laurent Koscielny is also a doubt, although the Frenchman has trained ahead of the tie. New signing Calum Chambers is therefore likely to continue at the heart of the defence. Arsene Wenger has warned his players to expect a physical test against Besiktas Arsene Wenger has warned his players to expect a physical test against Besiktas

Besiktas, who finished runners-up in last season's Turkish championship, come into the game after defeating Feyenoord 5-2 on aggregate in the third round of qualifying, in which former Chelsea striker Demba Ba scored a hat-trick. Both sides know how important a victory is to take into the return leg to be played on 27 August.

KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm

PAST MEETINGS…

N/A

STATS…

The match will be the first time these sides have met.

Arsenal are yet to lose over 90 minutes in the 7 games they have played against Turkish opposition, conceding just twice.

Besiktas have not featured in the Champions League group stage since the 2009/10 campaign; Arsenal on the other hand have featured in the last 16 Champions league group stages.

Arsenal have won all 12 of their previous Champions league play-off matches.

Arsenal have scored eight goals over the course of their last two games in Istanbul.

ODDS…

Besiktas to win: 5.7

Arsenal to win: 1.72

Draw: 4

TV: Live on ITV at 7.45pm. Highlights on ITV at 10.40pm and Sky Sports 1HD at 10.00pm.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US