Wojciech Szczesny: Arsenal ready for tough Fenerbahce test
Wojciech Szczesny insists Arsenal are in confident mood heading into Wednesday's Champions League play-off at Fenerbahce
Wojciech Szczesny insists Arsenal are in confident mood heading into Wednesday’s Champions League play-off first leg at Fenerbahce.
The Gunners travel to Turkey on the back of a shock 3-1 defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday in their Premier League opener.
But although goalkeeper Szczesny is expecting an intense atmosphere at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, the Poland international is confident the Premier League outfit can emerge victorious ahead of next Tuesday’s return leg at Emirates Stadium.
“It is not an easy draw – it is never easy to go to Turkey in front of a very enthusiastic crowd,” Szczesny told Arsenal Player.
“It will be very tough but we are a confident team and if you want to play in the Champions league we should be going to Fenerbahce and getting a win.
“I wouldn’t say the atmosphere affects the players but you enjoy it that bit more when the crowd is buzzing and it is so intense.
“I love it. You try a little bit harder when the fans are on top of you.”
Fenerbahce v Arsenal: Pre-match facts
• Arsenal were 5-2 winners when they last visited the Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium in the 2008-09 Champions League group stage – a result that ended Fenerbahce’s 15-match unbeaten home run in Europe.
• Arsenal also got the better of a Fenerbahçe team coached by Ersoy Sükrü in the first round of the 1979-80 European Cup Winners’ Cup.
• Arsenal have never played in the rebranded Europa League and their last game in the old Uefa Cup was actually the 1999-2000 final, which they lost 4-1 on penalties to Galatasaray after a 0-0 draw – their only other meeting with a Turkish team.
• In seven home games in last season’s Europa League, Fenerbahçe posted four wins, two draws and just one defeat.