Per - First 20 minutes in Turkey is key

Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker says keeping the Fenerbahce fans quiet in the first 20 minutes will be key to Arsenal’s hopes of a positive result on Wednesday.

The Gunners travel to Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium for the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie.

 Mertesacker has played in Turkey before with the German national side and says maintaining focus in such a unique atmosphere is hugely important.

“It is absolutely fantastic over there, so you have to be aware of the opening 20 minutes,” he told Arsenal Player. “You have to keep [the home fans] as quiet as possible, which is very hard.

“You have to play consistently over the whole 90 minutes and it is very important to be very focused on the first 15 to 20 minutes. We need to be ready and defend properly.

“The first big target of the season is to qualify for the Champions League group stage. I know that it will be very, very tough - especially away from home.

“We need to go through with good form and be at our best. We want to show our fans at home that we are ready for the Champions League this season.”

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