Team News: Cesc Fabregas has added to Arsenal’s injury woes ahead of the Champions League qualifier with FC Twente with a hamstring injury which will rule him out for at least two games. With Fabregas and Diaby (thigh) out , the onus is now on both Aaron Ramsey and Denilson to step up to the mantle. Arsene Wenger has confirmed already Denilson will start while Ramsey has a “good chance to start”.
The pair have already started pre-season together in the first three matches where Ramsey made the biggest impression, while Denilson has gone from strength to strength however there didn’t seem to be clear defensive midfielder as both players to alternated roles.
In defence there is a chance for Johan Djourou to stake his claim alongside William Gallas. Theo Walcott is likely to start on the left where he played well against Ajax but lacked that final pass. Senderos (hamstring), Nasri (knee/thigh), Toure (hip) add to those already injured (Traore, Rosicky, Eduardo).
Likely line up: (4-4-2) Almunia
Sagna, Gallas(c), Djourou, Clichy
Eboue, Ramsey, Denilson, Walcott
Van Persie, Adebayor
Subs: Fabianski, Hoyte, Gibbs, Wilshere, Bendtner, Vela, Randall
FC Twente: (4-3-3) Boschker- Wikshire, Douglas, Wielaert, Braafheid- Tiote, Janssen, Brama- Elia, Denneboom, Huysegems
Verdict: The battle in the midfield could decide the outcome of this match. FC Twente have lined up in a 4-4-3 formation in pre-season and have looked impressive. It will be up to Ramsey and Denilson to try and control the midfield and feed Van Persie and Adebayor. Arsenal have also looked susceptible to high balls and have to be wary of the counter attack from what is likely to be an extremely defensive FC Twente team.
Key Man: Adebayor– Will cause problems for all teams and if FC Twente decide to play the counter game then Adebayor will need to be at his dangerous best. His aerial ability will be key today if Arsenal want an away goal.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-0 FC Twente
Wenger: “That is part of being at a big club – the pressure of expectation is always very high,” “It’s a big day with a big meaning for us because the target is very high – to be in the Champions League. “You know that when you come to Holland you get a good game always no matter where you play and a tough one – and we know as well that demands a lot of respect and concentration to do as well as we can.”