The Galatasary vs Arsenal clash away at Istanbul Tuesday night would mark the last of the Gunners 2014/2015 Champions League group stage match, with Arsene Wenger and his men already securing safe passage into the next round (a successive 15th passage of Arsenal into the next round of the competition in recent years), although falling in second place with 10 points just below Borussia Dortmund with 12 points.
Of all the games to be played in our Champions League group of this season, Galatasaray away was the one trip we didn’t want to be making with the need for a result.
The Ali Sami Yen stadium, infamous for its hellish atmosphere, has not been a happy hunting ground for visiting teams especially from England…
With Hamza Hamzaoğlu’s men already condemned to defeat in the group stage of the Champions League as well as the being hopeless of making the Europa League, many Arsenal lovers will be expecting to see a handful of changes to Wenger’s starting line-up for the match on Tuesday night with fringe players such as Joel Campbell, Lukas Podolski and Tomas Rosicky topping the chart of players likely to be picked for the starting XI against Galatasaray.
Alexis Sanchez and a reasonable number of his “starting XI mates” are likely to be giving a breather not just due to the number of games they have played over the last couple of weeks, but because we now move closer to the clogged-number of games December brings along with its snow.
We however, still have a chance of claiming the top spot of group D, the likelihood of Anderlecht beating a depressed Dortmund in Germany is reasonably low. That notwithstanding, Wenger would still send out a strong contingent to Turkey to see the race to its finish.
“We’ll go with a strong team of course, we want to win the game,” Wenger said, as quoted on the club’s official website.
“Since the start of this season we have played seven games in the Champions League, including the qualifiers, and we have won four. I would like to win five.”
A win may not cut it for us if Jurgen Kloop’s men thump visiting Anderlecht. However it would make up for the disappointing first 45 minutes last weekend against Stoke.
While the attack may change due to the likely introduction of Campbell, Podolski and co, the defence will largely remain the same, as there is not an overflowing mass of personnel available there for a rotation, even if Laurent Koscielny looks like he’ll seat out a second successive game.
It will be a good thing that we win the game, if only to restore some confidence going into another tough round of League fixtures against the high flying unbeaten Newcastle and top four rivals, Liverpool.