Arsenal have a crunch Champions League clash on Wednesday night although Arsene Wenger confident of getting through
Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud are among those players missing Wednesday’s game at the Emirates Stadium, although the Arsenal manager still expects his team’s European know-how to help them over the line.
The Gunners squad for this match against Besiktas includes three recent World Cup winners in Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, although only one of these players was part of the team that won the final.
“For us the Champions League is very important. We want to play at the top level, at international level,” said Wenger.
“It’s a very important game, more on the sporting side than the financial side.
“Nothing is unthinkable – it (not qualifying for the group stage) has happened to 99% of all the big clubs in Europe.
“But we want to be in there and we think we have the potential to do it. The task is clear and we know we can do it. So let’s do it.
“Experience plays a big part. We have big experience of playing in the Champions League and in highly pressurised games. We can use that.
“But what’s more important is putting in a good, strong performance.
“I’m confident this group is mentally prepared and ready for the fight.”
Laurent Koscielny is expected to return to the team and play alongside Mertesacker, with Ladbrokes offering a best price 2/5 about Arsenal getting the win in ninety minutes.
Indeed, if the Gunners don’t win this game, then a goalless draw is the only other result that can keep them alive in the competition, with this meaning the tie goes into extra-time and possibly penalties.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to come into the team at the expense of Aaron Ramsey, with the England midfielder a 10/1 chance to break the deadlock.