Football

Champions League winner Meireles warning for Arsenal

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Raul Meireles is confident ahead of Fenerbahce's Champions League qualifiers against Arsenal and the Portuguese believes the pressure is firmly on Arsene Wenger's side.

Meireles, formally of Liverpool then Chelsea, has a Champions League winners medal from 2012 after helping the Blues reach the final in Munich and he believes there is little to choose between his current side and the Gunners. 

"Arsenal are difficult opponents but we are also tough opponents for them. For me, this tie will be very level, very well matched," he stated. 

The Turkish side were originally banned from this season's European competition after match fixing allegations lead to both Fenerbahce and Besiktas being banned by UEFA from this seasons Champions League and Europa League competitions respectively. 

However after taking their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, they can continue to play until a judgement is made. Coincidentally, the hearing will take place on the same day as their first-leg against Arsenal.

There is real pressure on Arsenal after a shock 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa on Saturday in their opening Premier League match as well as this, their manager Wenger has come in for heavy criticism from the Arsenal Supporters Trust over a lack of signings and a potential new contract for the Frenchman.

"Arsenal's defeat to Aston Villa was a surprise but it's not good for us. They will be even more focused and determined for our game," Meireles added.

Meireles knows the tie will not be over after tonight's match but the Portuguese international is not worried about needing a win at the Emirates. 

"Our key is to go to London with a tight score line. I've had some good experiences in London and I believe that if the result is within reach then we can go through."

With the atmosphere around the Emirates likely to become ever-more tense as the transfer window comes to a close, it would surely be disastrous for Wenger if his side were forced to play Europa League football this season and Meireles knows this.

"The pressure is on Arsenal and that gives us a little advantage in a game that is 50-50," he concluded.  

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Topics:
Arsenal
UEFA Champions League
Football

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