Less than 24 hours before Arsenal take on Besiktas in Champions League qualifiers scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 19 August, 2014, in Turkey, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he would be without one of his experienced defenders.
According to Wenger, England defender Kieran Gibbs will be out for three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury.
The 24-year-old left back limped off during Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Dailymail reports that Gibbs was left behind as the Arsenal squad flew to Turkey for the tie against Besiktas.
Speaking ahead of the crucial match against the Turkish team, Wenger warned his Arsenal team to improve after Saturday’s sluggish performance against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal stumbled to victory in the first league match of the season with Aaron Ramsey’s 90th minute winner against Palace, but they face a tough test in Istanbul.
Wenger said: “I am more positive this year but the reality is the performance. What is important is that we are not happy with the performance against Palace on Saturday, there is room for improvement. We need to bring that into our game tomorrow.
“It is a big test because we have had a short preparation. We know that in one week we have three big games: Palace, Besiktas, then Everton. From the start of the season it is a big test.
“Every chance is different. To win against a Turkish team is difficult. We know it is a difficult game and we have to perform at our very best.
“Besiktas have had a very good result against Feyenoord so will be on our toes. We want to produce a good performance.”
Meanwhile, there was a bit of good news for the Gunners as Laurent Koscielny has shaken off an achilles injury to travel and will partner young Calum Chambers in defence.
But striker Yaya Sanogo has also been ruled out by a hamstring problem while Per Mertesacker, who was on stand-by to travel, has been left in London.
It would be recalled that Arsenal defeated another Turkish team, Fenerbahce last year to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League.
Real Madrid is the current champions of the Champions League after the Carlo Ancelotti side defeated Athletico Madrid in last year’s final.