Arsenal will hope to inflict further punishment on Fenerbahçe SK and secure early progress to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages when the teams meet for part two of their back-to-back encounters on Matchday 4.
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Arsenal will hope to inflict further punishment on Fenerbahçe SK and secure early progress to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages when the teams meet for the second part of their back-to-back encounters on Matchday 4.
• After beating Fenerbahçe 5-2 in Istanbul, Arsenal should be high on self-belief and confident of consolidating their position at the Group G summit with another victory.
• With seven points from three games, Arsène Wenger's men stand two points clear of FC Dynamo Kyiv and four above third-placed FC Porto. If they win against Fenerbahçe and Dynamo defeat Porto in the group's other fixture in Ukraine, they will be mathematically sure of a place in the last 16.
• For Fenerbahçe, quarter-finalists last season, the aim is simply to stay alive in the competition. Wins for Arsenal and Dynamo would confirm their elimination but an away victory for Luis Aragonés' team in London would revive their ambitions with two matches still to play.
• The first task for the visitors is psychological: namely, to put behind them the drubbing by Arsenal that ended their 15-match unbeaten home run in European competition.
• Arsenal struck early goals at the Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium through Emmanuel Adebayor (10) and Theo Walcott (11) and although Mikaël Silvestre (19) put the ball into his own net, Abou Diaby (22) quickly restored the visitors' two-goal cushion. Things got worse for Fenerbahçe when Alexandre Song (49) made it four and even when Daniel Güiza (78) pulled a goal back, Aaron Ramsey then added a fifth four minutes into added time.
• That defeat continued the downbeat tone of Fenerbahçe's campaign thus far, which began with a 3-1 loss at Porto and subsequent goalless home draw against Dynamo on Matchday 2.
• Arsenal may have scraped a 1-1 draw in Kiev on Matchday 1 but they found their stride in their second game, a 4-0 home success against Porto. That victory extended their impressive unbeaten home record in the UEFA Champions League to 20 matches – a run that includes six victories and four draws at the Arsenal Stadium, their home since 2006/07.
• As if to underline the size of the task facing Fenerbahçe, while Arsenal are unbeaten at home in Europe since April 2004, the Turkish club's wait for an away victory in the UEFA Champions League stretches back almost as long – to November 2004. Their nine matches since then have brought two draws and seven defeats.
• The clubs' only previous encounter prior to this term 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 P14 W4 D2 L8. Their seven previous away matches yielded one win, one draw and five defeats.
• Their solitary win on English soil was a 1-0 success at Manchester United FC in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League group stage, courtesy of an Elvir Bolić goal after 79 minutes.
• Last season, Fenerbahçe's UEFA Champions League hopes ended in London with a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea FC in the second leg of their quarter-final, a result that undid the good work of their 2-1 first-leg win.
• Arsenal lost the 1999/00 UEFA Cup final to Fenerbahçe's Istanbul rivals 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.
• Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fàbregas was in Aragonés's victorious Spain squad 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.
• Fenerbahçe's Turkish international forward Kazım Kazım was born in London and grew up in the borough of Walthamstow prior to moving north to begin his professional career in England's fourth tier at Bury FC.
• Fenerbahçe midfielder Emre Belözoğlu missed the opportunity to appear for former club Galatasaray against Arsenal in the aforementioned 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.