The Champions League begins its journey on Fox Sports 1 tomorrow with the first ever match being aired live from Istanbul, Turkey as Fenerbahce hosts Premier League giants Arsenal.
The Turkish Super League runner-up just lost their opening domestic match away to league newcomers Konyaspor by way of a score of 3-2. This is a match where Fener had a 2-0 lead locked until the 77th minute of the match, and from this moment on, the game plan fell apart.
Fener was lucky that in the 73rd minute, the home side missed a penalty kick … but they still managed to net a hat trick of goals in the final 14 minutes that remained. Three defensive breakdowns due to three decent attacks were Fener’s demise.
Let’s remember that the best Turkish rightback in the game today, Gokhan Gonul, has been out due to injury and is expected to miss Wednesday’s first leg clash. In his place, midfielder Mehmet Topuz has been filling in for him at that position. He has been decent, but will have to be brilliant on Wednesday.
Newly acquired striker Emmanuel Emenike will have to do the exact opposite of what he did against Konya: score goals. The man missed a lot of easy positions in front of net which shows that his goal-scoring form is a bit off. Against Arsenal, he will simply have to play at the top of his game to create havoc for the opponents.
Arsenal themselves lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa in their Premier League opener. To top that off, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured his knee and is expected to be out for up to six months. The kid is a huge asset as he can score at will, sprint, dribble and be a piece to the puzzle of the Gunner game.
Even though both teams had bad league openers, they will be ready for this game with or without some of their top stars as they have enough talent to fill in those voids. This will be a tightly contested match that will be won by a mistake, a good play or luck.
Prediction: Fenerbahce 1- 2 Arsenal
Fenerbahce will create more chances, but will miss most of them. Emenike may be the scorer as he will have the most looks at goal while Arsenal will score with Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.
Let’s remember that this is only a prediction — it may come true or not.