So here we are after just three matches into the new season we have lost 4 players for our fourth game. Atleast there is a method to the madness 4 in 4. Giroud the latest to succumb is reportedly out until New Year. According to many, we were short of options at centre forward now we officially don’t have a forward who has scored a goal for us. (Excluding Podolski of course). It’s imperative we score more than Besiktas to win the game and now without our genuine goal threats in Ramsey and Giroud, I find it difficult to see where the goals are going to come from. Having said that if we can’t win against Besiktas at home, then we don’t deserve to be the Champions league. Besiktas come into the game in a better position than Arsenal and with our players falling like flies, they will be quite confident of getting the result. All Besiktas require is a draw and it won’t surprise me one bit if they are set up to frustrate Arsenal and nick a goal on the break.
The Gunners have to win the game in order to book a place in the Champions league group stages. We literally can’t afford a poor performance as we all know how important it is for us financially. Moreover the top class players want to play in Europe’s top tier competition and it’s difficult to prise them if you can’t offer Europe, just ask ManUnited. The weekend draw would no doubt have done us the world of good but it’s just not good for the hearts to leave it so late. How we line up will be interesting. Will we play the 4-1-4-1 or will injuries force Arsene to tweak the system into a 4-3-3. I believe Sanchez will start as a lone forward , yes it didn’t work at Everton but with Sanogo unfit, I am not sure Arsene will start him. (Of course if Sanogo passes a late fitness test by having a drop of Unicorn’s blood then we may be in for a treat.) Ozil has to be moved to the centre where he can exert his influence and guide his passes for the runners. In the absence of Ramsey, I expect Wilshere to step up. In defence, I think we will see the Mertescielny pair back. Chambers has been excellent for us so far but it would be wise to bank on experience in such a high pressure game.
The Turkish outfit were fantastic in the first leg and played at a high tempo for the full 90mins. They were unlucky not to score a goal but equally fortunate not to concede one. Their inspirational coach Slaven Bilic has to watch the game from the stands after being sent off in the first leg. There are no suspensions or injuries to players and they have Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson back. Demba Ba is undoubtedly Besiktas’s major threat and if Arsenal were to progress , they will have to keep him quiet. A draw is enough for the Turks but we all know it doesn’t always work that way. The first goal is absolutely crucial and will change the entire complexion of the game.
LET’S MAKE IT FOR THE 17th SUCCESSIVE PROGRESSION INTO THE GROUP STAGES OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, IT’S WHERE WE BELONG. COYG