Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Champions League match preview

A look ahead to Wednesday’s Champions League fixture at the Emirates

David Hughes
Wednesday 01 October 2014 18:25
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger will hope for a decisive response from his side, who were comfortably beaten by Borussia Dortmund in their opening fixture, against a Galatasaray outfit who traditionally struggle on their travels. Arsenal, however, will be without Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta, both of whom limped out of Saturday’s North London derby with Spurs, while Jack Wilshere’s fitness is also in question. The midfield trio have joined a concerning injury list which already features Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy and Theo Walcott.

Galatasaray, who lost talismanic striker Didier Drogba to Chelsea in the summer but still boast the services of Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, made heavy work of their first match of the group stages, an injury time equaliser from Burak rescuing a 1-1 draw at home to Anderlecht. Cesare Prandelli’s side remain the only Turkish team to have won a European competition, but defeat at the Emirates would leave them with an uphill battle to progress from the group stages.

The sides will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the scenes that marred the only previous meeting between the two clubs, when rival fans clashed in vicious riots before and after the 2000 UEFA Cup final in Copenhagen. Two Arsenal supporters and one from Turkey suffered stabbed wounds during pitched battles, which led to more than 60 arrests.

KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

The two clubs have met just once:

Galatasaray 0 Arsenal 0, (Galatasaray win 4-1 on penalties), UEFA Cup final, May 2000

STATS…

For the past two seasons, Arsenal have beaten Turkish outfits in the final qualifying round for the group stages. In 2013/14, they dispatched Fenerbahce 5-0 on aggregate, and an Alexis Sánchez strike saw them edge out Besiktas 1-0 this season. The Gunners have never lost to a team from Turkey in 90 minutes.

Arsenal have qualified for the group stage of the Champions League for the last 17 successive seasons – they have exited the tournament at the last 16 stage in the last four of these.

Galatasaray have not won in nine visits to English clubs – most recently, they lost 2-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of the quarter finals of last season’s competition.

The Turkish side have lost their last three away games in the competition.

ODDS…

Arsenal to win: 1.57

Galatasaray to win: 6.5

Draw: 4.3

CLASSIC MOMENT/MATCH

The sides only encounter came in the 2000 UEFA Cup final in Copenhagen. With the score 0-0 after 90 minutes, Galatasaray’s legendary Romanian playmaker Gheorghe Hagi was sent off in extra time for punching Tony Adams. The Turkish club held on and won the penalty shootout 4-1.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.45pm, highlights on Sky Sports 5 at 10.00pm.

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