Arsenal welcome Turkish League runners-up Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League Group D fixture.
Having fallen prey to German opponents Borussia Dortmund in their first game of the group stage, Arsene Wenger’s men will try and make amends for their loss.
The Gunners though, face a seemingly daunting task against Galatasaray, with several first team players out with injuries. Arsenal come into this game back of a disappointing domestic campaign, having lost at home to Southampton in the Capital One Cup, and salvaging a 1-1 draw against Tottenham in the North London Derby during the weekend. Wenger might be short of options in midfield against the Istanbul club, after seeing captain Mikel Arteta and influential midfielder Aaron Ramsey leave the field against their rivals through injuries. The return of Jack Wilshere in training comes as a timely boost for the Gunners. The England International, who was replaced by Alexis Sanchez in the same encounter, will be in contention for a starting spot, after being named in the squad to face Galatasaray. Other notable absentees come in the form of Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, who are yet to recover from long term injuries.
Galatasaray, now managed by Cesare Prandelli, have had a tough start in the Turkish Super Lig. The former Champions have managed 7 points out of a possible 12, lying 5th in the table. The Turks also struggled in the Champions League, managing only a 1-1 draw against Belgian giants Anderlecht on the opening day. Galatasaray registered their first league win of the season after defeating Sivasspor 2-1, which will act as an inspirational tool for them. The Turks will have high hopes from star striker Burak Yilmaz, who stole a point in their opening game with a stoppage time equalizer, and has scored 3 goals this season. With no high-profile injuries to deal with, Prandelli’s men can travel to London in a confident mood.
Arsenal’s star summer recruit Alexis Sanchez, who was benched against his sides’ previous two league encounters against Aston Villa and Tottenham, is likely to start against Galatasaray. The Chilean scored a brilliant free-kick against Southampton, but couldn’t help the Gunners avoid defeat. With the aforementioned injuries in midfield, the former Barcelona man is expected to lead the attack alongside another summer arrival in Danny Welbeck.
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Match Facts –
Galatasaray haven’t managed to register a win in 9 of their previous encounters against English opponents.
The two sides have met only once before, with The Turks winning 4-1 on penalties in the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup Final.
Possible Line-ups :
Arsenal (4-3-3) : Szczesny; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini, Wilshere; Sanchez, Welbeck, Özil.
Galatasaray (4-3-3) : Muslera; Sarı, Kaya, Chedjou, Telles; Džemaili, Felipe Melo, Inan; Pandev, Yilmaz, Sneijder.