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Preview: Arsenal v Beşiktaş

Published: Tuesday 26 August 2014, 20.30CET
While Arsène Wenger wants Arsenal FC to make experience count, Slaven Bilić backs Beşiktaş JK to fulfil "a dream, a hope" as they seek to end their opponents' 16-year run.
by Jamie Reid
from London
Preview: Arsenal v Beşiktaş
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger is waiting to hear if Olivier Giroud will be out long term ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored1
Total attempts23
on target7
off target9
against woodwork0
Yellow cards8
Red Cards2
Fouls committed27
Fouls suffered26

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Tuesday 26 August 2014, 20.30CET

Preview: Arsenal v Beşiktaş

While Arsène Wenger wants Arsenal FC to make experience count, Slaven Bilić backs Beşiktaş JK to fulfil "a dream, a hope" as they seek to end their opponents' 16-year run.

Arsenal FC host Beşiktaş JK with their play-off tie level at 0-0
Arsène Wenger says Olivier Giroud will not play
Forward sustained an ankle injury at the weekend
Wenger wants Arsenal to use their experience of "high-pressure games"
Slaven Bilić: "They are favourites. They are Arsenal"

Possible lineups
: Szczęsny, Debuchy, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Santi Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sánchez, Wilshere, Özil, Sanogo.
Out: Mikel Arteta (ankle), Aaron Ramsey (suspended), Olivier Giroud (ankle), Kieran Gibbs (hamstring), Theo Walcott (knee)
Doubtful: none

Beşiktaş: Tolga Zengin; İsmail Köybaşı, Franco, Ersan Gülüm, Ramon Motta, Oğuzhan Özyakup, Veli Kavlak, Mustafa Pektemek, Hutchinson, Olcay Şahan, Ba.
Out: none
Doubtful: none

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
Giroud will not play. He will see a specialist [on Wednesday] and afterwards we will make an announcement about how long he'll be out. It could be [a long-term injury], we will see. It's sad, but at the moment we are focused on this game.

Nothing is unthinkable because it [not qualifying] has happened to 99% of all the big clubs in Europe, but what we want is to be in there and we are highly determined to do it. We have a home game that we want to win. The task is clear and we know we can do it, so let's do it.

Experience plays a big part and we have a lot of it in the Champions League – big experience of playing in high-pressure games that we can use tomorrow. What is more important, though, is the performance on the day. It's important that we turn up and deliver a strong performance.

I'm confident this group will be strong, that it is mentality prepared, has a great togetherness and is ready for the fight. That is the most important thing – that we are prepared and ready to go out and do our best.

Slaven Bilić, Beşiktaş coach
It's going to be a massive game for us. We showed from our performance in the first leg that we are capable of giving them a game. We played well. We had our chances and they had theirs. We were not totally happy with the result as I think we deserved to win, but we go into this game full of confidence.

We are confident. I was confident, my staff were confident and the players were confident before the first game. Maybe before the first game some of our players had a little bit of doubt because they had not played against those so-called 'big guns', but after the game they were very confident, which I don't mind as long as you do not become big-headed.

Of course we are not the favourites. They are the favourites – they are Arsenal – but we have a dream, a hope. It's more of a plan though, and we are going to do everything we can to fulfil it. We have prepared our game, our plan. I have big belief in my assistants and they are going to do the job.

Weekend results
Everton FC 2-2 Arsenal (Coleman 19, Naismith 45; Ramsey 83, Giroud 90)
Beşiktaş: did not play

Form guide (all competitions)
Arsenal: DDWW
Beşiktaş: DWW

Match fact
• Which Beşiktaş player featured twice against Arsenal while at Fulham FC from 2011–13? Find out in our extensive match background.

Last updated: 30/05/15 7.06CET