The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Fenerbahce (a): team news, views and predicted starting XI

“Welcome to Hell. Would you like a cup of tea?”

Morning, folks.

There are certain fixtures in Arsenal’s calendar that fill me with dread. Today’s trip to Turkey is certainly a prime example of that. Had the team headed to Fenerbahce on the back of an impressive performance at the weekend, I’d be feeling rather optimistic now. As it stands, I’m worried – worried for the players and the pressure they are under, and worried that a poor result tonight could both affect our transfer dealings, and send the Internet into a complete meltdown.

There is a lot riding on the game. There’s the monetary rewards that come with Champions League football at stake. There’s the prestige of that competition, and the perceived shame of a Club Arsenal’s size being relegated to the Europa League.

I’ve heard some Arsenal ‘fans’ say they hope we lose tonight, that a poor result will be the final nail in Arsene Wenger’s coffin. That I can’t agree with. Under no circumstances should any Arsenal fan want Arsenal to lose. Even if Scarlet Johansson promised me a night of blistering carnal pursuits on the back of an Arsenal defeat, I’d still be cheering them on (Mind you, I don’t think I’d take to Twitter in rage if they did lose in that scenario).

The team news, mercifully, is pretty good today. Aside from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is said to be out for 6 weeks, all the doubts from the weekend are expected to be fit, and Nacho Monreal has joined up with the squad. Arteta and Vermaelen remain sidelined, and Abou Diaby has been humanely destroyed.

I don’t expect Santi Cazorla to start tonight, as he looks someway from match fitness. Podolski should come in on the flanks, and Tomas Rosicky, our best player on Saturday, might drop into the advanced midfield role behind Giroud. There has been some talk of Fabianski starting tonight ahead of Szczsney, but I can’t see that happening.

My guess would be:

The substitutes bench is likely to include a few youngsters. It’s a pretty damning insight into the state of our squad that we lack depth in reserve for such an important game. I’m a huge fan of both Zelalem and Gnabry, but the time isn’t quite right for either to be options for the first team.

If we come away tonight with a score draw, I’ll be very happy. Fenerbahce are notoriously bad travellers, and I’d fancy us to beat them at the Emirates quite comfortably. What’s important is to head into the second leg without anything to chase. With the pressure already on the players, I fear that might lead to the disastrous.

An old fashioned backs-to-the-wall Arsenal performance is what’s needed. The atmosphere will be hostile, the opposition with harass and press us at every chance. If we play like a team, keep our heads and utilise the pace upfront, we can come away with a result. Loosing by a couple of goals tonight doesn’t bare thinking about, so I’m not going to.

I’ll predict 2-2.

That’s all for today, folks. Below, the comments wait for you thoughts on the team and the potential result. Are you nervous and expecting the worst? Or do you think we’ll come through this? Let me know what you think.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Match previews
  • PJ Amir says:

    I want Arsenal loss. We must get rid of Wenger. When he goes we can be a proper team with proper players. The arrogant Frenchman is ruining our chances with his stupidity and poor management. He has to be sacked.

    Arsenal need a new manager.

    August 21, 2013 at 10:40 am
    • maurice ngoma jalijali says:

      NEVER TALK LIVE AN ANT GUNNERS SOME TIMES WE SHOULD BE SUPPORTIVE EVEN IN COLD SITUATIONS BECAUSE WE KNOW AS GROWN UPS THAT NOT ALL TIMES YOU CAN BE LUCK!

      August 21, 2013 at 11:00 am
    • RockStar_Gunner says:

      What an idiotic comment! You hope we lose?? Do you realize if we lose then we WONT sign anyone even IF Wenger leaves because no world class quality players will want to join a team who doesn’t play champions league football. So think about what you say.

      August 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm
  • Ashley says:

    I want us to win soooooo bad but if we do, you know Wenger will put a padlock on his wallet and swallow the key.

    Have you seen spuds potential team if they make these 2 signings and bale stays !!?? They could actually win the league whilst we spiral around in the whirlpool of mediocrity , if he doesn’t make any significant signings I’m paying my £7.50 and joining the BSM

    How could anyone who loves Arsenal allow this to happen ?

    August 21, 2013 at 10:41 am
  • Benhamin Dadzie says:

    Arsenal need someone hu wud sit infront of de defenders bcos wilshere n ramsey cannot do dat job. So i suggest Emmanuel Frompong should start de match

    August 21, 2013 at 10:42 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      @Benhamin:

      I’m pretty sure Frimpong isn’t the answer to any of our problems. DENCH.

      August 21, 2013 at 10:45 am
      • shua shuu says:

        I don’t think losing is gonna bring in top players, we don’t know what the board & wenger are planing to do. Wenger is Great Manager we all know that. Lets see after losing to Villa he said its not his money now we all know who to blame but its not Wenger.

        August 21, 2013 at 10:59 am
      • Nigerian Gooner says:

        James, i love your posts and I read each one of them. BUT, I think you’re wrong about Frimmy. He’s the type of strong defensive midfielder we need, plus he is a good passer of the ball. At least until we sign someone in that position, he should be playing today imo.

        August 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm
      • Nigerian Gooner says:

        James, i love your posts and I read each one of them. BUT, I think you’re wrong about Frimmy. He’s the type of strong defensive midfielder we need, plus he is a good passer of the ball. At least until we sign someone in that position, he should be playing today imo

        August 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm
  • Martin Uwimana says:

    Arsenal 2-0 fenerbach

    August 21, 2013 at 10:48 am
  • maurice ngoma jalijali says:

    we don’t to worry of the upcoming game please, we know such situations will always be good because we know that the players will go into the game with eagerness to give us a result we want . The game against Aston Villa was just spoiled by that funny referee and that led to the worst result we got. whether that referee was part of the haters of the Arsenal Manager, GOD is his witness. FERNERBACHE HERE WE COME WITH OUR GUNS BLASING – My prediction is THE GUNNERS 3 fenerbache 0

    August 21, 2013 at 10:54 am
  • reallycrossross says:

    Fear not they lost their opening match to Konyaspor and their main defender is Joseph Yobo! 2 nil Arsenal!

    August 21, 2013 at 11:24 am
  • Richard says:

    Arsenal will be there normatter the outcome of tonight encounter. Arsenal fans should be pride of their manager. Remember M united lost to Everton first game of last season but went on and win the league with 11point clear. A lost to Aston.v will only make our players better, offcourse new signings is important. Cool it Dawn forks. My prediction. Arsenal 2:1 Fanebache

    August 21, 2013 at 11:34 am
  • Alade says:

    I srongly believe that this team will ČÕ̸̳͡М̲̾͡Ê out with a beter result today ! Arsenal 2 fenerbahce 0

    August 21, 2013 at 11:36 am
  • josse says:

    Your comments are very true. The started the game very but were kicked all over before of the referee to destabilize their game plan.

    August 21, 2013 at 11:39 am
  • Matt Gunn says:

    Why is Santi Cazorla not match fit? What has he not done the past several weeks and just before the new season, which makes him not match fit? What eh..? Why has he not prepared for fitness?
    And what will the fans get if Arsenal win against Fanerbahce tonight? Are we to see new top flight players come in before closing day. Are we to see more teenagers in diapers bought before closing day? Will the new season be just like the old – aiming for fourth?
    What will change – eh ..??

    August 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm
    • reallycrossross says:

      Yeah come on James tell us eh..?

      August 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm
  • realarsenalfan says:

    Arsenal forever…..it matters not what is happening at our club, when the team is playing we should be united behind them….Arsenal 2 Fenerbache 1

    August 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

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