Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughArsenal vs Besiktas: Lineups, Preview, And Prediction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Arsenal vs Besiktas: Lineups, Preview, And Prediction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Arsenal vs Besiktas: Lineups, Preview, And Prediction

Arsenal vs Besiktas Preview

Arsenal pride themselves on reaching the Champions League group stage, year after year. They haven’t done too well in the knockout stages, but that could be due to the fact that Arsenal have had to face some of their toughest oppositions early on in the competition. This year, Arsenal have boosted their team with valuable additions and are expected to do a better job.

However, they most importantly need to qualify for the group stages. By the ill-fortune of their tumble from top place to fourth place last season, they have to go through a knockout game to progress to the group stage of the Champions League this year. They have to face Besiktas, who rolled over Feyenoord in the previous round, with a sublime hattrick from Demba Ba, a player who never got his due at Chelsea, but was always capable of brilliant performances. Ba has seen what Arsenal is capable of while at Chelsea, and he will have to be the inspiration to his club, as they attempt to beat Arsenal, progress to the group stages of the Champions League and earn a good amount of revenue that comes with that.

Arsenal have been stretched to their limits in terms of their defence, as they have just two first-team centre-backs, of which Per Mertesacker may not be match-fit yet, after his exertions for Germany in the recently-concluded World Cup.  Inexperienced Calum Chambers, who was supposed to be a back-up to Mathieu Debuchy, might have to play his second game for Arsenal in a matter of four days. Mathieu Debuchy may end up playing another game, unless Wenger takes a chance and gives Hector Bellerin a game, which will not seem plausible in a must-win fixture. The departure of Thomas Vermaelen seems to have been a few days earlier than was required, from an Arsenal fan’s point of view, as his presence could have lent the Arsenal defence a more settled look.

The midfield pool is large enough for Wenger to rotate players and yet play a strong midfield. Jack Wilshere could get a game to prove himself. Joel Campbell could get a look-in, and his pace could run the Besiktas defence ragged. Arsenal are still on the look-out for a defensive midfielder, though it would be good if they find a player who could play in defence, too. Besiktas, on the other hand, will be looking to carry their run forward. Slaven Bilic and Demba Ba have led their revival and can steady their reputations, if Besiktas can win and progress to the group stages. Besiktas could park the bus at the back and look to deploy Ba in a forward role, one that he has played while he was at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho.

This being the home leg for Besiktas, they will have the support of the home crowd. Arsenal obviously have the stronger side, and the Champions League spot means more to their pride. Besiktas have the confidence and the gumption to fight. The problem for Arsenal is keeping Besiktas at bay with an inexperienced defence, while the problem for Besiktas is ensuring a complete lockdown at the back and hoping that Ba can find a way to score. Both sides want the win to show that they mean business, but only one will progress at the end of it all.

Possible Arsenal Lineup

Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Monreal, Wilshere, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Sanchez, Giroud


Besiktas 1 Arsenal 2

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