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Arsenal hope for travel sickness cure at Udinese

Published: Wednesday 17 August 2011, 1.45CET
Arsenal FC arrive in Italy to face Udinese Calcio with a 1-0 lead but having suffered three straight away defeats in Europe, while their opponents are unbeaten in five at the Stadio Friuli.
Arsenal hope for travel sickness cure at Udinese
Arsenal's Theo Walcott celebrates scoring the only goal of the first leg ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

UdineseArsenal

Goals scored1
 
3
Attempts on target11
 
17
Attempts off target13
 
6
Corners10
 
9
Offsides7
 
7
Fouls committed27
 
36
Yellow cards6
 
6
Red cards0
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 17 August 2011, 1.45CET

Arsenal hope for travel sickness cure at Udinese

Arsenal FC arrive in Italy to face Udinese Calcio with a 1-0 lead but having suffered three straight away defeats in Europe, while their opponents are unbeaten in five at the Stadio Friuli.

Arsenal FC travel to Udinese Calcio for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off tie with the narrowest of leads, although the form guide does not augur well for Arsène Wenger's side.

• Theo Walcott scored the only goal of an open and entertaining first leg after four minutes in north London on 16 August.

Previous meetings
• The sides had never met in UEFA competition before the first leg.

• Arsenal have played 26 games against Italian clubs with the record W12 D8 L6 (W4 D4 L4 away). The most notable of those fixtures was the 1994 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, where Alan Smith scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Parma FC in Copenhagen.

• Udinese's only previous game against English opponents prior to the first leg was a 2-0 home victory against Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur FC in a 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage game. Antonio di Natale put them ahead from the penalty spot before Simone Pepe hit the second four minutes from time.

Match background
• Udinese's defeat of Tottenham was the start of a five-game unbeaten sequence at home in Europe, with a run of four straight wins followed by a 3-3 draw with SV Werder Bremen in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

• The Gunners have won only one of their last eight European games on the road, 3-1 at FK Partizan in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage. They have suffered three straight defeats away from home.

• Arsenal have featured in every UEFA Champions League group stage since 1998/99. They have not played in the UEFA Europa League since its evolution from the UEFA Cup and their most recent game in that competition was the 1999/2000 final, which they lost 4-1 on penalties to Galatasaray AŞ after a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen.

• Arsenal have come through a qualifying round to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage in four of the last five seasons. They won all eight of those qualifying games, overcoming NK Dinamo Zagreb (2006/07, agg: 5-1), AC Sparta Praha (2007/08, agg: 5-0), FC Twente (2008/09, agg: 6-0) and Celtic FC (2009/10, agg: 5-1).

• Udinese's only previous group stage campaign came in 2005/06. Under Serse Cosmi they came within five minutes of reaching the round of 16, only to concede twice to FC Barcelona in their final Group C match to miss out on second place.

• That campaign brought the club's only appearance in UEFA Champions League qualifying prior to this year. They beat Sporting Clube de Portugal 1-0 away and 3-2 at home to get through the third, and at that time final, qualifying round.

Team ties
• Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin coached Arsenal defender Sébastien Squillaci at AS Monaco FC in 2005/06.

• Guidolin has faced English opponents with several of his previous clubs. Chelsea FC knocked his Vicenza Calcio side out of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals and his Bologna FC team lost to Fulham FC in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup. His US Città di Palermo beat West Ham United FC 4-0 on aggregate in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round but then lost 1-0 to Newcastle United FC at home in the subsequent group stage.

• In total, Guidolin's record in eight games against English sides reads W3 D1 L4 (W2 D1 L1 in Italy).

• Udinese left-back Giovanni Pasquale took on Arsenal with FC Internazionale Milano in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage, coming on as a second-half substitute in the Gunners' 5-1 win in Milan, their most emphatic victory home or away against Italian opposition.

• Udinese's Medhi Benatia and Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh are international team-mates for Morocco.

Last updated: 22/08/11 1.24CET

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