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Match Preview: Udinese vs Arsenal


Stadio Friuli,

24th August


Arsenal head to Italy holding a slender 1 goal advantage of the Italian side after emerging with an important clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Udinese last week.

Our Champions League season hangs in the balance tonight as we play one of the most important matches in recent history. Not only is a result important to our progression, it`s important to our belief, to our fans, to our potential transfer dealings.

The game is massive.

Vital Quotes:

Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin: "The second-leg will be more difficult than the first, It will be even harder because we have to try and score, but we must also maintain our balance."

'We cannot leave Arsenal open spaces as they are fast and can hurt us even further. Everything must be done right and we will also need a slice of luck.'

Emmanuel Frimpong in response to Jack Wilshere`s 'goodbye Nasri` Tweet: Pfffff comeon Jack.

Udinese Team News:

I`ve not read anything regarding Udinese team news so will pressume they will set up in much the same manner as the first leg. The had us on the back foot for most of the second half and they will have home advantage this time.

Player to watch: Antonio Di Natale

As with last week, Di Natale is the danger man. He proved to Arsenal last week how clever is movement is and he's deadly from a set piece.

Keep him quiet and we're in with a shout.

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal will be without Na$ri (obviously), Koscielny injured his back versus Liverpool, Jack Wilshere had a set back and Abou Diaby broke a finger nail.

Johan Djourou will face a late fitness test, Song and Gervinho will get a breif reprive from their susspensions as we play in Europe and manager Arsene Wenger will be allowed in the dugout after UFEA granted him a delay in his appeal hearing.

Player to watch: Thomas Vermaelen

With goals hard to come by so far this season the preservation of a clean sheet in Italy is vital.

Vermaelen was outstanding at the weekend, and another peformance like that will surely see us through.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal have never lost a Champions League qualifier match, and if that stat remains in tact tonight we`ll be in the CL for the 14th consecutive season.

Match Prediction:

I'm going for a very nervy 1-0 win to the Gunners

Next Fixture:

Manchester United (a)

Date:Wednesday August 24 2011
Time: 9:36AM


The game couldn't be more important than it already is. Arsenal targets may track the result tonight as well. Big night for us and we have many experienced players like RvP, Arshavin, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Song, Gervinho, Sagna, Djourou and Theo who have experience in the CL qualifying and group stages. Hope they show their experience and commitment today.
24/08/2011 10:33:00
Yeah, targets may well be hanging-on to make sure we're in the CL before signing... I feel more confident now that we've got more first-teamers available. Up the Arse!
24/08/2011 11:16:00
Strangely enough I am quietly optimistic for tonight, don't ask me why but I am.
24/08/2011 11:19:00
If Arshavin is played on the wing instead of behind the striker when we such a paucity of playmakers it will be safe to say that AW does not rate him as a playmaker. Both Gervinho and Walcott are in better form on the flanks and one will be stunned if AA starts there.
24/08/2011 11:28:00
Be prepared for AA to start on the wing.....
24/08/2011 11:47:00
Your optimism is remarkable Armory.
24/08/2011 11:51:00
Nope just used to the managers little quirks. Still believe we will get through tonight though.
24/08/2011 11:56:00
Wow, it's only the 24th of August and We are already facing a Season Make or Break Game! I've grown my finger nails just for Tonight!
24/08/2011 12:55:00
Squeaky Bum Time!!!.Well,I'm actually quietly confident that although it promises to be a nervy night in Udine for the lads,We'll acually win comfortably eventually by 3-0 and 4-0 on aggregate.For once we've got a keeper who can keep us in a game with some crucial saves when it matters!!(Is "Aluminium" still at the club??...tosser!!) C'mmon you Reds!!!!
24/08/2011 13:05:00
I think we'll do it. It's just unthinkable to be listening to that famous music on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and not being able to watch Arsenal. We'll do it boys. We've still got some good players who can punish any mistake. 1 piece of brilliance from RvP, Gervinho or Arshavin and we're through. There's no way Vermaelen will let us concede 3. No way.
24/08/2011 13:19:00
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