Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Champions League Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund Preview

Bundesliga Champion and presently second seated Borussia Dortmund will be guest at the Emirates Stadium in a return Champions League match against Barclay's Premier League's seventh seated  Arsenal.  Their previous encounter in Dortmund ended in a 1-1 draw.

Dortmund just fresh from a contest in the Allianz Arena in Munich, defeated the Bundesliaga in a highly dramatic match 1-0.  Mario Goetze got the winning goal.  Dortmund's side will be a better side than Arsenal met in Dortmund.   The German side, which presently hangs on to third place in Group F with 4 point, desperately needs a win, if they are to have a chance of advancing to the knock out round.  A little help from Olympiakos is also required.

 Arsenal leads Group F with 8 points and a win today, would qualify the team for the knockout round, although first place is not guaranteed.  The Gunners have won ten of their last twelve matches while Dortmund has won 7 of their last nine.  Dortmund has lost both away games in the Champions League, a 3-0 loss in Marseilles and 3-1 in Athens.

The Gunners have won their last five home games against German teams.  Dortmund's balance against English teams is also respectable.  In 1966 they defeated West Ham United 2-5 and later that year Liverpool in the final.  In 1996/97 Dortmund defeated Manchester United twice by a margin of 1-0.  Dortmund is pumped up for this match, especially after the away victory against FC Bayern.  Mario Goetze has had clear that the team knows that the Champions League is not the Bundesliga, but the team feels prepared to take on the Gunners.

No matter what the outcome, it will be a test of Van Persie taking on a tight Dortmund defence.  Munich last Saturday had difficult breaking down Dortmund's defence and putting their midfield to good use.  Persie will probably be covered closely.

On the Dortmund side Goetze and Kagawa are always good for a couple of goals when it counts, as is Lewandowski.  The Gunners will have to keep them in check to ensure a win.  Arsenal's German defender Mertelsacker will be familiar with the Dortmund side and will be a valuable asset.

Dortmund will be well motivated to survive the Group stage.  No matter how the match ends, it should be a delight for Arsenal fans when the Bundesliga once again challenges the Premier League.  Cut your nails before the game.

Starting Line-Ups 


Szczesny - Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, André Santos - Song - Walcott, Ramsey, Arteta, Gervinho - van Persie

Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Felipe Santana, Hummels, Schmelzer - S. Bender, Kehl - M. Götze, Kagawa, Großkreutz - Lewandowski


  1. Kagawa got the only goal for Dortmund....exciting game.

  2. Dortmund was sure missing Goetze after he was substituted for injury. I detected a bit of burn out. The tough game on Saturday against Bayern and the euphoria that must have caused, took a toll. Dortmund may be out this year, but they will be back