In the final group match of the UEFA Champions League, Galatasaray will be hosting Arsenal on Wednesday day night. The Gunners have so far not performed up to their standards and will try to get the top spot of Group D.
Arsenal team news.
Wenger unusually announced his team 1 day early.
Nacho Monreael, Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny, Danny Welbeck and Kieran Gibbs are rested and remain in London. 6 youngsters also travelled to Turkey. Ainsley Maitlan-Niles, Glen Kamara, Chuba Akpom, Alex Iwobi, Gedion Zelalem and Stefan O’ Connor will be on bench.
Oliver Giroud will not be featuring on Wednesday since he is not registered for group games. Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, David Ospina, Mesut Ozil, Abou Diaby and Nacho Monreal are also out due to injuries. Wilshere is also out till February due to ankle surgery.
Arsenal possible XI: Szczesny, Mertesacker,Debuchy, Chambers, Bellerin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey,Flamini,Campbell, Sanogo, Podolski. Subs: Akpom, Zelalem, Kamara, O’Connor, Iwobi, Maitland-Niles.
Galatasaray team news.
Hamza Hamzaoglu will have to make some changes in the midfield since Blerim Dzemaili is side-line and Selcuk Inan is suspended.
Felipe Melo will be helped on the flank by Yekta Kurtulus and Hamit Altintop. Burak Yilmaz in the front will partner Umut Bulut.
Galatasaray possible XI-Muslera, Telles, Chedjou, Kaya, Camdal, Altintop, Melo, Kurtulus, Sneijder
Arsene Wenger announced the starting XI 24 hours early; let us look at what both the managers had to say in the press conference.
Galatasaray coach, Hamza Hamzaoğlu.
“We’ll try to stop our opponents, but we’ll also try to play. We know our opponents are Arsenal, but we are Galatasaray and we’ll fight regardless. It’s a plus not having any pressure tomorrow. Our pressure comes from a desire to win. We created this pressure ourselves and it will be beneficial. I would like to thank our fans for their support. I hope this will be reflected positively in our football.
As we have done in previous games, we’ll try to press Arsenal up front and not let them leave their half easily. Here our opponents’ game plan will be decisive too. Football is not only about attacking – from time to time you may need to defend. Arsenal are a good team. If they react to our pressing we’ll try to be strong in defence and hit them with counterattacks. We could win or lose. We set our targets and try to see the bigger picture.
Our formation and mentality will be similar to our previous games. The formation will be a variant of 4-2-3-1. [Aurélien] Chedjou has some problems and we’ll try another player in this position [centre-back] in training.”
Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger.
“I have brought a squad mixed with regulars and six young players. Who knows what result we will get but we will not play under huge stress because we are already guaranteed to be in the knockout stage. The reason I have not brought Alexis Sánchez and Santi Cazorla is because I just wanted them to rest a bit because they have played a lot of matches up to now.
The Turkish are proud people. Galatasaray are the biggest club in Turkey. I have been here before. They will show the quality they have – just like they did when they eliminated Juventus last season. Therefore I expect a tough contest. I really do expect Galatasaray to play well. Although they are last-placed in the group, we can never underestimate them. There is no rule saying you will win every game. We are professional and competitive people. Every game is different for us.
Jack Wilshere will not be with us for three months. My starting 11 against Galatasaray will be [Wojciech] Szczęsny, [Mathieu] Debuchy, [Per] Mertesacker, [Calum] Chambers, [Héctor] Bellerín, [Mathieu] Flamini, [Alex] Oxade-Chamberlain, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Joel] Campell, [Yaya] Sanogo and [Lukas] Podolski. Our six young players will be on the bench.”
Prediction: Galatasaray 1-2 Arsenal.
This will be the first UEFA Champions League for Hamza Hamzaoglu after he replaced Cesare Prandelli as Galatasaray’s manager and till now has won all the 3 matches he was in charge of. He will try to maintain the same form on Wednesday by upsetting Arsene Wenger’s as they travel to Turk Telekom Arena.
Arsenal who have already qualified for the next round of UEFA Champions League lost their last Premier League match to Stoke City by 3 – 2. The Frenchman will try to regain the respect and admiration of fans by winning against Galatasaray. With the win Arsenal will also top the group stage.