Slaven Bilic’s team was absent for four years from the stage of 32 of the Champions League but rebounded strongly in Europe after last year’s punishment. They have checked-in their tickets for this year’s groups: either in Champions League if they pass Arsenal or via the Europa League if they don’t.
In the previous round they ruled out Feyenoord emphatically with two wins and a total score of 5-2 (a hat-trick from Demba Ba in the 3-1 in Istanbul). Historically, any time they have played for the rounds just before the Champions League group stages, they have 3 out of 3 qualifications: in 1997 to Maribor, in 2001 to Lokomotiv Moscow and in 2007 to Zurich.
After the qualification over Feyenoord they participated in a tournament of three 45’ minutes duration where they won Chelsea, Fenerbahce and the insignificant Karagumruk with the same score (1-0).The new domestic Super League starts on 28th of August.
Canadian midfielder Hutchinson has a slight injury and is given doubtful while winger Tore is very difficult to be able to play. If the first one is absent, Bilic will prefer Uysal for the midfield, next to the Austrian Kavlak who is enshrined behind the trio of the attacking midfielders.
Arsenal began the league with plenty of anxiety by beating Crystal Palace 2-1. The winning goal was scored by Ramsey in 91′ while two minutes earlier Crystal Palace was left with 10 players. Obviously they had overwhelming ball possession (76%), but struggled to get into the area and create pure chances. They found themselves been back in the score in 35′, Koscielny equalized in 45’ before Ramsey formed the final result.
Arsenal cannot live without Champions League since Arsene Wenger took over. It is significant that the “Gunners” count 16 consecutive appearances in the top club competition. In fact, all six times they were asked to play playoffs in order to enter the groups, they had experienced victories all the times (12 in an equal number of games!)
Qualification is important for economic reasons, although Wenger believes that this is not the main reason he wants to see Arsenal in the groups: “It is not so much about the financial. Of course it is very good income, but we want to present to the groups for the history of the club. It is very beautiful and important to play against the best. ”
The main left defender Gibbs came out with a problem and will stay out, while striker Sanogo did not traveled too, who had started as a key player against Crystal Palace.
Main center back Koscielny was trained along with midfielder Flamini and they are available for the match. Mertesacker (key defender), Ozil (basic attacking midfielder) and Podolski (striker) remain out, as they delayed to integrate into the team after the World Cup.
Wingers Walcott and Gnabry are knocked out since last year, while the new-comer goalkeeper Ospina will not play as well.