Arsenal get Udinese in CL play-off + Benfica previewBy: Perry | August 5th, 2011
So, earlier today, the CL play-off draw took place
While I’m pretty sure most of us were hoping for some nice Odense action and praying to avoid the dark, cold depths of Kazan, the reality resulted, as it is always, somewhere in the middle.
Arsenal got Udinese Calcio in today’s draw for the CL play-offs, with the matches to be played on August 16/17 and the return legs to be played a week later. Arsenal play the first leg at home on the 16th, and play the return leg in Italy on August 24th. It’s important to note that Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie, and Arsene Wenger will be suspended for the first leg, so hopefully the rest of the squad has it enough in them to get a good result at home (and avoid the unavoidable boos).
Also, the team traveled to Portugal today ahead of their last match of the pre-season, a friendly against Benfica on Saturday. According to Wenger, Jack Wilshere will be fit to start the season but may sit out this one- hopefully it means he misses the meaningless international friendly. In addition, Cesc will reportedly travel with the squad and may very well play for us against Benfica- considering how crass and disrespectful Barcelona have been during this summer, blatantly trying to sow discord among us with the whole Cesc saga and successfully disrupting our summer plans regarding incoming transfers, it would be very sweet to show Cesc is still very much an Arsenal player by playing him in a meaningless friendly. A friendly we won’t lose 1-4. What was that?
Anyways, that’s about it for today. I have no idea who’s going to cover the Benfica match, but if I manage to find some spare time I might be able to recap it. But don’t expect a liveblog, folks. Have a good Friday.