Fenerbahce coach Luis Aragones believes the Turkish side must show real desire against Arsenal if they are to register their first victory in Group G.
Fenerbahçe are be undefeated in 15 European home games, but their scoreless draw against FC Dynamo Kyiv in Istanbul last time left them bottom of the group and needing a boost when they take on the leaders on Tuesday.
“Our only aim is to beat Arsenal in front of our fans, so we’ll approach the task with this attitude and look to play with the right mentality and intensity,” said Aragonés. “What we need to do is show how much we really want to be successful in the Champions League.”
Fener earned their first away points of the Super Lig season on Saturday, with Semih Senturk returning from an ankle injury to score an added-time winner in a 3-2 victory at Kocaelispor.
“Semih is an influential figure but I think he could be even more influential if he made runs at the opposing defence from deep,” said Aragonés, who will deploy Daniel Guiza as his spearhead with Semih playing behind.
Despite their 4-0 victory against Porto on Matchday 2, Aragonés does not believe that Arsenal are a side designed to attack.
“I don’t agree with the convention that Arsenal are a side who always think of going forward,” said the 70-year-old. “When you analyse them, you see that they play with five midfielders and leave a single striker with an emphasis on counterattacking. You might even see them defending with nine men. Nevertheless, my philosophy is to focus on my own team.”
Deivid, Gokcek Vederson, Josico and Emre Belozoglu are all absent for Fenerbahce, although Gokhan Gonul could be fit to feature at right-back.
Arsène Wenger suffered a blow on Monday when Kolo Touré was ruled out with a shoulder injury, joining fellow first-choice defenders William Gallas and Bacary Sagna on the sidelines.
Mikael Silvestre, a UEFA Champions League winner in the colours of Manchester United last term, is expected to start in central defence with goalkeeper Manuel Almunia made captain in the absence of Gallas.
“It will be useful to have a player of Silvestre’s experience – I don’t think there’s a ground left in Europe where he hasn’t played,” said Wenger.
The Frenchman knows Fenerbahçe’s lowly league placing, tenth, will have no bearing on tonight’s game, saying: “They might not have made a good start in either competition but they have the quality. We know they’ll be a real threat and we want to start solidly to reduce their self-confidence.”