Arsenal face Turkish club Fenerbahce in the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium for the first leg of a Champions League qualifier. A win on the road will go a long way to restoring Arsene Wenger's already beleagured season, which began with a humiliating 1-3 home defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the 2013/14 Premier League season.


Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is scheduled for 7:45pm BST. Live coverage is available on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.


The Turks start knowing that even if they do beat the Gunners over two legs, they could still be disqualified from the tournament. They have been charged with match fixing and will know their fate on 28 August, when the decision over an appeal will be announced.

On the pitch, they come into this game after losing their first game in the new Turkish season - they let a two goal lead slip against Konyaspor and lost 2-3.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are under immense pressure following a typically fruitless transfer season. Despite chief exeutive Ivan Gazidis confirming that Wenger has substantial transfer funds at his disposal, the Arsenal boss has chosen not to spend to reinforce a side thin on numbers and talent. The result was a poor performance in the defeat to Villa and with mounting injuries, Wenger will be hard pressed to justify his inactivity in the summer transfer window.

Either way, this is a massive game. If they do not qualify for the Champions League, the club will lose massive amounts of television revenue which could hurt them financially. And the fact they have a north London derby against Fulham to come after this will only add pressure on the players to produce results for their fans.

The good news is key players have recovered from knocks against the Villans - Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs are all likely to make the starting line-up.

What the Players Say

Hasan Ali Kaldirim (Fenerbahce defender): "We are Fenerbahce and Arsenal is not the same team before. They are not that good in defense but they play in a high tempo and can pass the ball very accurately. It's going to be a hard match-up but we are confident."

Per Mertesacker (stand-in captain): "The first big target of the season is to qualify for the Champions League group stage. I know that it will be very, very tough - especially away from home. We need to go through with good form and be at our best. We want to show our fans at home that we are ready for the Champions League this season."

Team Form


  • Last Five (most recent first, all competitions): L L W D L
  • Last Match: Konyaspor 3 - 2 Fenerbahçe


  • Last Five (most recent first, all competitions): L W L D W
  • Last Match: Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa

Team News


  • Injured: Erten Ersu (knee)
  • Doubtful:N/A
  • Suspended:N/A

Probable Line-Up: Demirel; Irtegun, Yobo, Alves, Kadlec; Meireles, Topal, Cristian; Kuyt, Sow, Erkin.


  • Injured: Mikel Arteta (thigh), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Nacho Monreal (back), Thomas Vermaelen (back)
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Suspended: N/A

Probable Line-Up: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey; Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla