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Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce: match preview

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The Gunners look to secure passage to the Champions League group stage tonight as Fenerbahce arrive in north London down three goals and desperate for a positive result

"So this moose walks into a bar, does a couple shots and forgets to pay his Czech."
"So this moose walks into a bar, does a couple shots and forgets to pay his Czech."
Michael Regan


Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce
Champions League qualifier, second leg
Tuesday, August 27, 2013; 2:45 pm EDT / 7:45pm GMT
Emirates Stadium, London
TV: Fox Sports 1, Fox Soccer 2Go

Already a crucial week with the matter of the North London Derby this weekend and the transfer window shutting next Monday, Arsenal face off in the second leg of the Champions League qualifier versus their Turkish opponents Fenerbahce tonight in a match where the result doesn't mean as much as the aggregate.

Arsenal went to Istanbul last week and secured three away goals while keeping a clean sheet, which means that Fenerbahce can only advance to the group stage with a minimum clean sheet of 4-0 or a victory ending with a three-goal advantage if Arsenal score at least one goal tonight (4-1, 5-2, 6-3 and so on).  It's a comfortable lead for Arsenal, but as we've seen close up over the past few years, anything can happen during these entertaining Champions League nights.

As posted yesterday, defender Laurent Koscielny will be back in the squad after being on the wrong end of an errant Pierre Webo kick last week.  Jack Wilshere, after showing as a substitute in last weekend's 3-1 victory at Fulham, appears set to start tonight.  The rest of the 18-man squad looks quite similar to the one named last Saturday. Fenerbahce will field a squad missing team captain Emre, Joseph Yobo, transfer-listed Milos Krasic and Mehmet Topal.

Possible lineup:

Szczesny
Sagna - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Gibbs
Ramsey - Wilshere
Cazorla
Walcott - Giroud - Podolski

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Fenerbahce