Arsenal travel to Istanbul for the first leg of their Champions League qualifier with Fenerbahce. Arsene Wenger’s team suffered a disappointing 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa on Saturday and pressure is on the Arsenal manager and his team to gain a positive result in Turkey before the return leg at the Emirates next Tuesday. If Arsenal do qualify it will be the sixteenth season in a row that Arsene Wenger has led his team into European football’s elite competition.
Unlike their opponents, Fenerbahce have been busy in the transfer market bringing in Emmanuel Emenike, Michal Kadlec and Bruno Alves. However, manager Ersun Yanal will be disappointed with his team’s 3-2 loss in their opening league fixture against Konyaspor having led the game 2-0. Behind the scenes The Super Lig club could yet be thrown out of the Champions League if they win their tie against Arsenal as they await a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding accusations from Uefa of match-fixing.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm
Arsenal 0 Fenerbahce 0, Champions League, November 2008
Fenerbahce 2 (Silvestre og, Guiza) Arsenal 5 (Adebayor, Walcott, Diaby, Song, Ramsey), Champions League, October 2008
Arsenal have won all five of their Champions League qualifiers (2011, 2009, 2008 , 2007 and 2006) They have also won all ten legs in these five ties.
Fenerbahce have never beaten Arsenal having lost two and drawn two of their four matches. Their biggest loss coming the last time they played Arsenal at home, losing 5-2 in 2008.
Arsenal’s home loss to Aston Villa was their first opening day defeat in twenty years.
Fenerbahce to win: 1.75
Arsenal to win: 1.5
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.45pm