Group B
Arsenal v FC Thun

New boys FC Thun begin their Champions League campaign away to Arsenal with midfielder Tiago Bernadi insisting that, despite the Gunners’ erratic form of late, the Swiss minnows could not have been handed “a much tougher tie”.

“They have so much talent and attacking flair”, he effused, “they remind me of Brazil sometimes.”

Their hosts will be shorn of some of that attacking flair, however, after it was confirmed that talismanic striker Thierry Henry could spend up to six weeks on the sidelines with a groin strain.

More encouragingly for Arsene Wenger, though, is the news that Robin Van Persie has recovered from a training ground knock and that Sol Campbell is now fit for selection. In goal, Manuel Almunia will start ahead of the suspended Jens Lehemann.

The visitors will give late fitness tests to both Armand Duemi (thigh strain) and Anders Gebar (Archilles tendon) and have, unsurprisingly perhaps, hinted at a deploying a defensive formation.

“We have no choice but to try and play for a 0-0 draw for as long as possible”, said coach Urs Schonenberger.