Besiktas v Arsenal
Champions League Qualifier
Ataturk Olimpic Stadium
Kick off: August 19, 2014 7:45 PM BST
Arsenal travel to Turkey on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League Qualifier with Besiktas, and they do so very light in defence. Despite some tough fixtures on the horizon Wenger has no choice but to go for gold in this one to attempt to secure top-tier European football.
There are doubts over Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs’ involvement, while Per Mertesacker may have to be rushed back quicker than expected to fill in with Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal the only viable, senior members that can fill in at centre back.
Ignasi Miquel represents another option, but with Chambers impressing over the weekend it’s highly doubtful Wenger will field two youngsters in the heart of defence.
Wenger has highlighted the potential of 19-year-old Hector Bellerin coming in to the side after some fantastic performances over pre-season, perhaps he could slot in at right back and push Debuchy over to the left..? Realistically Mertesacker’s preparations will most probably be rushed and will be fielded against the Istanbul outfit.
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This is ridiculous that it is happening already. The summers hard work may well be undone by our incompetence to replace Thomas Vermaelen who Wenger has known was always going to leave. We need to bring in another defender and fast but unfortunately that will not be happening before tomorrow night.
Further forward it will most likely look the same as against Crystal Palace. Mesut Ozil will not return until the weekend, the only difference could be the inclusion of both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Oliver Giroud from the get go in place of Jack Wilshere and Yaya Sanogo who both struggled to really impress on Saturday.
Here is our predicted lineup:
Debuchy Chambers Mertesacker Monreal
Ramsey Arteta (c)
What are your thoughts and ideas? What is your preferred lineup? Comment below..