Arsenal’s sternest test of the season awaits them on Wednesday when they welcome a team hailed by Wenger as one of the best in Europe.
You cannot really argue with Wenger on that. They may not be racking in the silverware, but when you’re talking in terms of the quality of football, there really aren’t many better in Europe.
It’s likely to be a fantasticly open, flowing game of end-to-end football, with both teams viewing attack as the best form of defense.
After two La Liga games Sevilla are second only to Real Madird. They’re there after scoring 8 goals in those two games, and conceeding 2.
On a much more somber note, it’ll be an emotional night for Sevilla and the clubs fans. It’s their first Champions League game in a long time, and it would have been a debut in the competition for Antonio Puerta. As I’m sure you’re all aware, he passed away after collapsing on the pitch during Sevilla’s opening game of the season.
Sevilla star Dani Alves is convinced that his side can overcome Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium. Alves is qoted by The Sun as saying: ‘Seville play in a very similar style to Arsenal. We are fast, attacking and play the game in a beautiful way and that is because of Jaunde Ramos.
“It is his football philosophy and it is very close to Arsene Wenger’s.
I think that will make this match a great occasion. The players are all very happy that our coach decided not to go to Tottenham.
‘Arsenal are a strong side with great young players. They are one of the favourites to win the Premier League and the Champions League — but we have no fear.
I saw their match with Spurs last weekend and the way they play is no surprise to us. We play the same style and this has the possibility to be a beautiful contest.
‘But we know if we can win at the Emirates then we will have gone a long way to qualifying for the next phase.’
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says that it would be impossible to choose between winning the Champions League and the Premiership so early in the season: ‘That is like asking me ‘would you like me to cut your right arm or your left arm?’ I would always say I would like to keep both!’ he said.
‘It is difficult. You cannot choose in September – you choose, if you have to, in April.’
Cesc Fabregas warned that Sevilla will be playing for his friend Antonio Puerta when they visit on Wednesday night: ‘The tragedy could be one extra motivation, of course.
‘He always wanted to play in the Champions League and this was the first time in a long time they had qualified. For them it is very special.’
The Arsenal youngster also paid tribute to Antonio: ‘We made our debuts together for the Under 21s together. Antonio was a great guy.
‘It was a big shock for everybody, for all of Spain because he was such a great guy with so much potential. For his family it is terrible.’
Arsenal Team News:
Big Phill Senderos’ ban does not apply to European competition so he could return to partner Kolo Toure in defense.
That would mean Gilberto Silva would return to midfield to partner the little genius that is Cesc Fabregas.
Eduardo Da Silva will return after being rested for Arsenal’s visit to Three Point, I mean, White Hart Lane.
However, Manu Eboue, William Gallas and JEns Lehmann are all still missing for Arsenal.
No date has been set for the return of Eboue or Lehmann, but Gallas is expected to be fit for the visit to West Ham a week on Saturday.
Player to watch: Cesc Fabregas
It’s no secret that Cesc is at his best in European competition. With that and his start to this season taken into account, this could be some display from the youngster.
HOwever, I’m not tipping him to score, if I do, he’ll miss a sitter. So I’m saying Fabregas will NOT score. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Sevilla Team News:
Sevilla welcome back Luis Fabiano for their visit to Arsenal.
However, winger Jesus Navas will face a late fitness test on Wednesday.
Player to watch: Kanoute
The former Spurs striker has thrived in Spain. His combination of strength and technical ability will provide Toure and Co with an interesting problem.
I’m going to go with an enthrawling 3-2 victory for Arsenal.
Sevilla to take the lead through Kanoute, before Arsenal pull level through Eduardo Da Silva. Goals from a little Spainard and Adebayor for Arsenal. A late goal from Navas to make for a worrying end to the game for Arsenal.