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Fenerbahçe under pressure for Arsenal visit

Bottom of Group G with just a solitary point, Fenerbahçe SK must try to recapture their normally reliable home form when leaders Arsenal FC come to the Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium on Matchday 3.

Fenerbahçe's Gökhan Gönül (right) in action against Dynamo
Fenerbahçe's Gökhan Gönül (right) in action against Dynamo ©Getty Images

Fenerbahçe SK will hope to have recaptured their best home form by the time Arsenal FC visit the Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium on Matchday 3.

• After eight successive home wins in the UEFA Champions League, qualifiers included, Fenerbahçe will have considered their goalless draw with FC Dynamo Kyiv on 30 September as two points dropped, and they now find themselves playing catch-up in Group G.

• Bottom of the section with a solitary point, Luis Aragonés' men will regard a positive result against Arsenal as pivotal to their hopes of further progress but this may prove easier said than done against opponents who sit in first place with four points.

• After rescuing a point at Dynamo on Matchday 1 – courtesy of William Gallas's 88th-minute goal – Arsenal found top gear last time out with a 4-0 defeat of FC Porto, Robin van Persie (31, 48) and Emmanuel Adebayor (40, 71 pen) the scorers.

• While Arsène Wenger's team can seek another three points in Istanbul knowing they still have two more home games to come, Fenerbahçe – given their poor away record – must try and profit fully from home advantage at a ground where they are unbeaten in 15 European outings.

• Quarter-finalists last season, the Istanbul side began this campaign on the back foot, losing 3-1 at Porto prior to the stalemate with Dynamo. Although Daniel Güiza (29) struck for Fenerbahçe in Portugal, they were already trailing to goals by Lisandro (10) and Lucho (13) and then conceded a third in stoppage time to Lino.

• The clubs' only previous encounter came in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round. Arsenal emerged 2-0 aggregate winners after goals from Alan Sunderland and Willie Young earned them victory at Highbury prior to a goalless draw in Istanbul. Pat Rice, Arsenal's assistant manager, and Liam Brady, the club's head of youth development and academy director, both featured in the tie.

• Fenerbahçe's overall record against English clubs is P13 W4 D2 L7. Their six previous matches at home have yielded three wins, one draw and two defeats.

• Last season Fenerbahçe beat Chelsea FC 2-1 at the Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final, courtesy of goals from Kazım Kazım and Deivid. But a subsequent 2-0 reverse in London ended their hopes of reaching the last four.

• This is Arsenal's first meeting with Turkish opposition since they lost the 1999/00 UEFA Cup final to Galatasaray AŞ. After a goalless draw over 120 minutes in Copenhagen, Galatasaray prevailed 4-1 on penalties to become the first Turkish winners of a UEFA club competition.

• Fenerbahçe coach Aragonés has had mixed results against English opponents in the past. He led Spain to 1-0 friendly wins against England in November 2004 and February 2007 and, as coach of Club Atlético de Madrid, oversaw a 4-1 aggregate defeat of Manchester United FC in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round.

• On the downside, his RCD Mallorca team lost heavily to Newcastle United FC in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round – succumbing 7-1 on aggregate – and, with Real Betis Balompié, he saw the Seville club's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup hopes ended by a 5-2 aggregate quarter-final defeat against Chelsea in 1998.

• In his playing days, Aragonés hit three goals for Atlético Madrid in a 4-4 aggregate draw with Derby County FC in a 1974/75 UEFA Cup second-round tie, before his team went down 7-6 on penalties.

• Besides defeat in the 2000 UEFA Cup final, Arsenal manager Wenger also suffered at the hands of Turkish opposition when his AS Monaco FC side lost to the same team, Galatasaray, in the European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final in 1988/89 (agg: 1-2).

• Yet Wenger did guide Monaco to a 2-0 win in Istanbul as they beat Galatasaray home and away en route to reaching the semi-finals of the competition in 1993/94.

• Fenerbahçe midfielder Emre Belözoğlu missed the opportunity to appear for former club Galatasaray against Arsenal in the UEFA Cup final because of suspension, having been dismissed in the semi-final against Leeds United AFC.

• He later figured in the FC Internazionale Milano team that won 3-0 at Arsenal on Matchday 1 of the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League season and, for another of his old clubs, Newcastle United FC, made his Premier League debut in a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in August 2005.

• Fenerbahçe forward Kazım Kazım helped former club Sheffield United FC earn a 1-0 win against Arsenal in the Premier League in December 2006 – a match where the Blades played for the final half-hour without a recognised goalkeeper.

• Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fàbregas was in Aragonés's victorious Spain team at UEFA EURO 2008™, where he played alongside Fenerbahçe's Güiza.

• Güiza and Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia were team-mates at RC Recreativo de Huelva for part of the 2002/03 season.

• Arsenal's 21-year-old midfielder Alexandre Song is the nephew of former Liverpool FC and Galatasaray defender Rigobert Song, who is now playing for Turkish Süper Lig team Trabzonspor.

• Porto will take on Dynamo Kyiv in the other Group G fixture on Matchday 3.