FC Twente v Arsenal – Match Preview
The pre-season jockeying is over for Arsenal, tonight Arsenal face arguably the most important game of the season. Failure to progress to the Champions League group stage would be a disaster both financially and in terms of the club’s standing in European football.
Arsenal travel to FC Twente managed by former England manager Steve McLaren, knowing that a repeat result of the last two season’s qualifying games, 3-0, will see them through to the next round. FC Twente will be no pushover, and McLaren will have them well drilled and knwos what to expect from Arsenal.
Arsenal are not taking the encounter with FC Twente lightly, their opponents beat Ajax in a play-off to reach the Champions League. “It’s a big day with a big meaning for us because the target – to be in the Champions League – is very high,” said Wenger. “You know that when you come to Holland you always get a good game and a tough game. No matter where you play.
“We know as well this side demands a lot of respect and concentration. They are a team who have knocked out Ajax in the qualifiers of the Champions League. We know they have the typical Dutch culture of playing football and keeping the ball very well. Therefore we need a good defensive concentration.”
Arsenal’s problems are injuries. Out of the game are central defenders Toure, Senderos and Song. But it is in midfield that Arsenal’s problems are severe. Missing are Fabregas, Diaby, Nasri and Rosicky. This leaves a very threadbare midfield with Denilson likely to play alongside Eboue in central midfield and either Ramsey or Vela on the wing. The short-term, injuries to our midfield necessitates that Wenger acts before Saturday in the transfer market.
“I have said many times we were short of one player and I hope to do something this week before the transfer deadline,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com.
Upfron Arsenal have no problems with Adebayor, Bendtnet and Vela all hitting good form and van Persie is so far staying free of injuries. Arsenal’s strike force should be too strong for FC Twente who lost yheir best players in the summer.