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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 20, 2013

Boost for Arsenal ahead of Fener tie

Arsenal have received a much-needed fitness boost ahead of their Champions League trip to Fenerbahce on Wednesday.

• Cross: Panic at Emirates reflected in ill-advised Cabaye bid

The Gunners travel to Turkey off the back of a shock 3-1 loss at home to Aston Villa, in a game that saw their squad stretched as key personnel sustained injuries.

Kieran Gibbs sustained a cut above his eye, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured his knee while Bacary Sagna fell awkwardly at Emirates Stadium.

Reports suggest Oxlade-Chamberlain is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but there is more positive news about Gibbs and Sagna, who are both said to have trained on Tuesday.

Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey also took part, as the Gunners plan for the first leg of their third round qualifying game with Fener, who could face expulsion from Europe.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is under increasing pressure to pick up a result in Istanbul, with fans on Saturday making their frustrations known regarding a summer transfer window of just Yaya Sanogo added.

Arsenal have subsequently been linked with moves for Swansea duo Michu and Ashley Williams, Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye and Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, meanwhile, is optimistic of Arsenal's chances against Fener, but anticipates an "intense" atmosphere.

"It is not an easy draw -- it is never easy to go to Turkey in front of a very enthusiastic crowd,” he told Arsenal Player.

"It will be very tough but we are a confident team and if you want to play in the Champions league we should be going to Fenerbahce and getting a win.

"I wouldn't say the atmosphere affects the players but you enjoy it that bit more when the crowd is buzzing and it is so intense. I love it. You try a little bit harder when the fans are on top of you."

Szczesny was also asked about Fener's uncertain future in the competition as they face a hearing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport over a two-year ban from European competition.

“You just want to win the game, no matter what the circumstances are or the future of their club is in European competition,” he said. "We just want to win the game and move on.”

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