Gunners’ Glorious Turkish Record To Continue
Arsenal v Galatasaray
Galatasaray travel to the Emirates on Wednesday in the hope that they will be able to overturn their poor record on English soil…
Arsenal’s start to the season hasn’t been as dramatic as last year, but they’ve been in reasonably solid form, their only disappointing result in the league being a draw away at Leicester. They qualified for the Champions League by overcoming Besiktas and although they were comfortably beaten by Borussia Dortmund last time, that was their hardest assignment in Group D and they will be hopeful of making up ground.
Runners up in the Turkish Super Lig in May, Galatasary’s season has got off to a slow start. They won their opener at Bursaspor, but have won only one of their last three and find themselves in mid-table. They also made an indifferent start to their Champions League campaign, being held 1-1 at home by Anderlecht, a game they would have marked down as their easiest fixture of the Group Stage.
Arsenal’s injury problems worsened at the weekend with the loss of both Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsay during the first half against Tottenham and neither will be fit for Wednesday. They are also still without key men Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy, who will both be out until December, as well as Yaya Sanogo, Serge Gnabry and Theo Walcott.
Cesare Prandelli has not yet named an unchanged side this season, but his tinkering ahead of their last Premier Lig game against Sivasspor had the desired effect as they secured a 2-1 win, helped by the return of Felipe Melo to the heart of their midfield, a player who makes them a far more effective unit.
These two sides have only met once, in the UEFA Cup Final of 2000 in Copenhagen.
The game finished as a 0-0 draw in which Galatasaray had Gheorghe Hagi sent off in extra time, but the Turkish side prevailed 4-1 in the penalty shoot-out.
Arsenal added to their good record against Super Lig sides by beating Besiktas to qualify for the Champions League and it is worth noting that
the Gunners have never lost in over 90 minutes to a Turkish side and have only conceded once in nine meetings.
By contrast, Galatasaray have a poor record against English clubs away from home. Although they have beaten English opposition three times in Istanbul but they have failed to win any of their nine matches on English soil.
Galatasary have made an uncertain start under Prandelli and there has been a lot of tinkering with the line-up.
Although Arsenal are depleted by injury, they should still have enough to overcome opponents who are still adjusting to their new manager’s style of play, and who are yet to find any fluency going forward. Victory is essential for the Gunners after their defeat in Germany and I think they should edge this one. Back the home side for the victory at odds of 40/85.