Last week, Arsenal were drawn with Italian side Udinese in the final qualifying match to determine if they’ll reach the Group stages of the Champions League. Udinese have lost some of their top players, including Colombian international defender Cristian Zapata who left for Spain’s Villareal. Swiss international midfielder Gokhan Inler has left for Napoli. While their star talent, Chilean international Alexis Sanchez left for last year’s Champions League winners Barcelona.
Despite this, Udinese are still a dangerous threat and are known for playing some excellent football and their quick counter attacks, and shouldn’t be underestimated. The club still has players that the Gunners, must have a watchful eye on. Here are four Udinese players that the Gunners must look out for, in this two-legged playoff.
1. Antonio Di Natale
Arguably Udinese’s biggest threat, Di Natale is a goal-scoring machine, who’s one of the best and lethal finishers I’ve ever seen. He has been banging in the goals in Serie A, for the past few seasons and last season, Di Natale scored 28 goals in 36 appearances to end up as top goalscorer ahead of last season’s sensation, Napoli’s Edison Cavani. Di Natale is a clever, tricky, skillful and terrific finisher and player, that Arsenal must keep an eye on at all times. He’s an absolute nuisance to any defence, and will definitely be a player to keep a watchful eye on.
2. Kwadwo Asamoah
Asamoah, is one of the best young midfielders in Europe, who’s known for his creativity and strong physique. The Ghanian international, has been linked numerous times to the Gunners and should definitely be considered a threat. Asamoah, doesn’t many goals, but will provide the service for players like Di Natale, with his excellent vision, passing and creativity. I highly rate Asamoah and believe that the Gunners should be aware of.
3. Mauricio Isla
The Chilean international full back who can also play as a winger, is a player who never stops running and who can make some excellent and dangerous runs, and is a very good crosser. Isla, is a talented and skillful player, who is a nuisance to any defence because of his constant running and movement. He is known for his excellent attacking play, he’s a good dribbler, has quick feet and provides some dangerous crosses.
4. Pablo Armero
The Colombian international, who impressed at the Copa America. Pablo Armero, just like Mauricio Isla, plays as a full back/winger and is known for his power, strength and skillful play. Armero, is a powerful player with a strong physique and known for his excellent runs, movement, and skills. He’s overall, an excellent player, who can be a threat to any defence. Armero is a difficult player to shrug off and mark, as he constantly makes powerful runs to the box and is very physical. Definitely a player the Gunners must keep an eye on.
Udinese have other threats, like Antonio Floro Flores, who’s a striker known for his physical approach and is strong aerially and also, German Denis, who is a tricky player, known for his skills and excellent movement.
Udinese will still be a threat , but I believe the Gunners should do enough to get through this tough tie. I believe it will be an exciting double-header, as both teams play excellent football and are exciting to watch. I’m looking forward to watching the two teams in action, promises to be a fascinating double-header.
Sunday, August 16
At the Emirates Stadium, 19:45 UK Time
The return leg will be held on Wednesday, August 24:
At the Stadio Friuli, 19:45 UK Time