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Champions League: Emenike, Yobo battle Arsenal

Arsenal have been handed a number of fitness boosts ahead of the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce tonight.

Super Eagles duo of Joseph Yobo and Emmanuel Emenike are expected to be in the thick of the action in defence and attack, respectively.

Emmanuel Emenike
Emmanuel Emenike

The Gunners slipped to a 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season at the weekend, but manager Arsene Wenger would have been delighted to see Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky all train on Tuesday morning.

There had been fears over the fitness of those individuals, especially full-back Sagna who landed awkwardly towards the end of the game on Saturday, but they could all play some part in Turkey as Arsenal look to seal a place in the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.

England’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a certainty to miss out after suffering a serious knee injury in the defeat to Villa, with some reports suggesting the 20-year-old could be ruled out for up to six months.

Qualification to Europe’s elite club competition is seen as a must for a club like Arsenal, and having as strong a squad as possible for the match at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium on Wednesday night gives Wenger’s side the best chance of getting a positive result ahead of the second leg at the Emirates next Tuesday.

If Arsenal do reach the group stages there will be even more calls for new faces in north London, after a bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye was rejected on Monday.

 


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