Champions League: Fenerbahce determined to secure first-leg lead against Arsenal
The sides meet in Turkey tomorrow in the first-leg of their qualifier
Tuesday 20 August 2013
Fenerbahce coach Ersun Yanal is determined his side will take a defendable lead back to London after tomorrow's meeting with Arsenal at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in the first leg of their crunch Champions League play-off.
The Turkish side - their place in European competition yet subject to a full hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being found guilty of match-fixing by UEFA - will be out to heap more misery on the Gunners, who were booed off after they lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa on the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League season.
Arsenal won 5-2 the last time they visited the Asia side of Istanbul in the 2008/2009 campaign, but Yanal is determined there will be no repeat when the sides go head to head again tomorrow night.
"Arsenal are a high power team, so we will want to go there with an advantage," Yanal said at a press conference.
"As a team we are strong enough to finish the challenge which is in front of us.
"We are competing to be in the first lane (of the group stage)."
Like Arsenal, Fenerbahce - who came past Salzburg in the last European qualifying round - lost their opening domestic fixture, going down 3-2 at Konyaspor.
Yanal is expecting a response. He said: "My players need to be ready to play a more dynamic, play more up-tempo."
Arsenal will be without England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has a knee injury which could prove serious.
The Fenerbahce coach, though, will not take the threat of the Gunners lightly. He added: "The Arsenal team has a style, with very talented young players from around the world football market."
Defender Bruno Alves feels Fenerbahce can lay down a marker by knocking Arsenal out.
The Portugal international said: "This is going to be an important game for us. We want to show everyone that we are in this competition.
"The team is ready and Fenerbahce deserve to play this kind of games."
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