Fenerbahce do not fear Arsenal – Kaldirim

The 23-year-old defender says the Turkish club are confident of progressing to the group stages because the Gunners are a weaker opposition compared to past glories

Fenerbahce defender Hasan Ali Kaldirim insists his side do not fear Arsenal because they are not the same fearsome side they once were.

The Gunners travel to Istanbul on Wednesday to contest the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie with a place in the group stage on offer for the winner.

The 23-year-old told the club’s official broadcasting channel FBTV that they are confident ahead of Arsenal clash.

“We are Fenerbahce and Arsenal is not the same team before,” he said.

“Arsenal are one of the most powerful clubs in the world. They have very important players especially in offensive positions.

While they are still a potent force going forward, Kaldirim believes Arsene Wenger’s men have defensive weaknesses.

“They are not that good in defense but they play in a high tempo and can pass the ball very accurately. It’s going to be a hard match-up but we are confident,” he continued.

Wenger is facing up to the prospect of having just eight fully fit senior outfield players for the trip to Turkey.

Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey are all doubtful after picking up injuries at the weekend.

While Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby and now Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are already confirmed to miss the midweek clash through injury.

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