Arsenal head to Italy holding a slender 1 goal advantage of the Italian side after emerging with an important clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Udinese last week.
Our Champions League season hangs in the balance tonight as we play one of the most important matches in recent history. Not only is a result important to our progression, it`s important to our belief, to our fans, to our potential transfer dealings.
The game is massive.
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin: “The second-leg will be more difficult than the first, It will be even harder because we have to try and score, but we must also maintain our balance.”
‘We cannot leave Arsenal open spaces as they are fast and can hurt us even further. Everything must be done right and we will also need a slice of luck.’
Emmanuel Frimpong in response to Jack Wilshere`s ‘goodbye Nasri` Tweet: Pfffff comeon Jack.
Udinese Team News:
I`ve not read anything regarding Udinese team news so will pressume they will set up in much the same manner as the first leg. The had us on the back foot for most of the second half and they will have home advantage this time.
Player to watch: Antonio Di Natale
As with last week, Di Natale is the danger man. He proved to Arsenal last week how clever is movement is and he’s deadly from a set piece.
Keep him quiet and we’re in with a shout.
Arsenal Team News:
Arsenal will be without Na$ri (obviously), Koscielny injured his back versus Liverpool, Jack Wilshere had a set back and Abou Diaby broke a finger nail.
Johan Djourou will face a late fitness test, Song and Gervinho will get a breif reprive from their susspensions as we play in Europe and manager Arsene Wenger will be allowed in the dugout after UFEA granted him a delay in his appeal hearing.
Player to watch: Thomas Vermaelen
With goals hard to come by so far this season the preservation of a clean sheet in Italy is vital.
Vermaelen was outstanding at the weekend, and another peformance like that will surely see us through.
Match Facts & Stats
Arsenal have never lost a Champions League qualifier match, and if that stat remains in tact tonight we`ll be in the CL for the 14th consecutive season.
I’m going for a very nervy 1-0 win to the Gunners
Manchester United (a)