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Partizan primed for a busy night at Arsenal

Arsenal FC showed no mercy in their first two home games and the visit of FK Partizan, who have lost all their Group H fixtures, offers the chance to finally seal their round of 16 place.

Partizan primed for a busy night at Arsenal
Partizan primed for a busy night at Arsenal ©UEFA.com

Arsenal FC scored 11 goals in their previous two UEFA Champions League home group fixtures and will need to rediscover their scoring touch when FK Partizan visit to make certain of their place in the last 16.

• The Gunners won their first three fixtures but defeats at FC Shakhtar Donetsk and SC Braga have left their hopes hanging in the balance. Now Arsène Wenger's team have to beat Partizan to make sure of reaching the last 16 for the 11th successive season.

• Partizan were confirmed in bottom place on Matchday 4 and, having lost their first five matches, are bidding to avoid joining the ten teams who have previously suffered six defeats in a UEFA Champions League group stage.

Previous meetings
• The teams met on Matchday 2 in Belgrade, the visitors running out 3-1 winners. Andrey Arshavin gave Arsenal an early lead, Cléo levelling before the break with the first of the night's three penalties and the only one to be converted. Both Arshavin and Cléo missed from the spot in the second half but goals inside the last 20 minutes from Marouane Chamakh and Sébastien Squillaci meant the points ended up in north London.

• Previously Arsenal had only faced opponents from Serbia once, a 1978/79 UEFA Cup third round tie against FK Crvena zvezda. After losing 1-0 away, the Gunners were eliminated following a 1-1 home draw.

• Partizan have lost five of their last six contests against English opponents. They did beat Manchester United FC 2-1 on aggregate in the 1965/66 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals to qualify for their only continental final, where they lost 2-1 to Real Madrid FC in Brussels.

• The Serbian champions have played in London on one previous occasion, facing Queens Park Rangers FC in a remarkable 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round tie. Partizan lost 6-2 away but won the return 4-0 to progress on away goals.

• They also faced Leeds United AFC in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup first round, losing 3-1 at home and 1-0 away. Partizan coach Aleksandar Stanojević played in both games.

Match background
• Arsenal opened their Group H campaign with a 6-0 dismantling of Braga, following up their win in Belgrade on Matchday 2 with a 5-1 triumph against Shakhtar. Since then, however, they have lost 2-1 in Donetsk and then 2-0 at Braga to slip to second place.

• Partizan began with a 1-0 defeat at Shakhtar and after the home reverse against Arsenal they faced two games against Braga, who had also suffered two defeats. However it only resulted in more disappointment for Stanojević's team who lost 2-0 away and 1-0 at home, ending their home campaign with a 3-0 loss against Shakhtar on Matchday 5.

• Last season Arsenal won all five home games, play-off round included, before FC Barcelona held them to a 2-2 draw in the quarter-final first leg to set up a 6-3 aggregate success.

• Only Manchester United FC, 3-1 winners in the 2008/09 semi-final second leg, have triumphed in the 26 UEFA Champions League games, including qualifiers, at Arsenal Stadium. Before that loss Arsène Wenger's men had boasted a five-year unbeaten home run in the competition, which began at their previous ground, Highbury.

• In their only previous group stage participation in 2003/04, Partizan lost all three away games and scored just a single goal on the road. After a total of 11 games in the competition proper they are still waiting for their first victory.

Team ties
• Vladimir Stojković and Mladen Krstajić played for Serbia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against a France side including Bacary Sagna and Gaël Clichy in Paris on 10 September 2008. For the return in Belgrade on 9 September 2009, Stojković and Sagna were both involved with Clichy an unused substitute.

• Stojković and Krstajić played in a UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier in Belgrade against a Belgium team containing Thomas Vermaelen in October 2006. Serbia won 1-0. All three figured in the return in Brussels in August 2007 which Belgium won 1-0, Milan Smiljanić coming on for his senior debut.

• Bacary Sagna was in the AJ Auxerre team which won 4-1 at Partizan in the UEFA Cup group stage on 29 November 2006.

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