Arsenal players in training ahead of Beskitas clash
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 27 August
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Arsenal will be without striker Oliver Giroud and suspended midfielder Aaron Ramsey for Wednesday’s Champions League play-off home leg against Besiktas.
Giroud has a suspected broken ankle, while Ramsey was sent off during last week’s goalless first leg in Istanbul.
Midfielder Mikel Arteta is out with an ankle problem, while full-back Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) and winger Theo Walcott (knee) remain absent.
Besiktas will be without Turkish midfielder Necip Uysal (ankle).
Giroud, who scored 16 league goals last season, came off the bench to net a 90th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 Premier League draw with Everton on Saturday, but then suffered a suspected broken ankle in the closing seconds of the match.
Alexis Sanchez, a £35m signing from Barcelona last month, could be handed another chance to impress up front. The Chile international started as a lone striker on Saturday but was substituted at half-time.
Despite the injuries to his squad, manager Arsene Wenger is confident that Arsenal have the ability to book a Champions League group-stage place for the 17th straight season.
“Experience plays a big part. We have big experience of playing in the Champions League and in highly pressurised games. We can use that,” Wenger said.
“But what’s more important is putting in a good, strong performance. I’m confident this group is mentally prepared and ready for the fight.
“For us the Champions League is very important. We want to play at the top level, at international level.
“Nothing is unthinkable – it (not qualifying for the group stage) has happened to 99% of all the big clubs in Europe.
“But we want to be in there and we think we have the potential to do it. The task is clear and we know we can do it. So let’s do it.”
Have Your say: Do you see Arsenal defeating Beskitas at the Emirates to progress to the group stage?