Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.
Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson will give his pre-match view and you can get his post-match verdict in our Talking Tactics feature on Arsenal Player. We’ll also hear from a journalist who follows the club we’ll be facing.
As always Arsenal will attempt to dominate possession with their composure on the ball, movement and technical ability. However they must react quickly and intelligently when the ball is given away because Udinese have shown they are a good counter-attacking team.
PAOLO BANDINI, THE GUARDIAN
Udinese are not a team who are always in the Champions League and, even though they have enjoyed relative success in the last half-decade, they are still viewed as a small club by the Italian media. But, with their success last season, they became ‘the little team that could’ and it feels like the whole of Italy is really pulling for Udinese. There was a sense of disappointment because most people thought Udinese had played well enough to get a positive result.
La Gazzetta dello Sport said: “We have to be proud of this side because they proved that courage, class and fantasy is still part of Italy’s culture”. There is a sense that Udinese came to Arsenal, played the right way, played attacking football and really tried to play. In Italy, the general analysis was that Udinese were the better team. There was a sense that if they play this well again at home then they can overturn the result.
Francesco Guidolin has been keeping his cards very close to his chest and hasn’t gone public on his plans for the second leg. But I think it is likely that we will see their 3-5-2 formation - I think they will start with it but I don’t know for certain.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Aug 2011