Borussia Dortmund - Arsenal Preview: Faltering Bundesliga champions welcome an Arsene Wenger side in search of third European win this season
Jurgen Klopp set to recall Mario Gotze following midfielder's suspension, whilst Mikel Arteta and Pers Mertesacker likely to make European debuts for the Gunners in Germany
By Andrew Kennedy
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Gotze, Kagawa, Grosskreutz
Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
Frimpong, Song, Arteta
Gervinho, Van Persie, Arshavin
Mario Gotze will return to the starting XI following his suspension for Saturday’s league defeat to Hertha Berlin, and the 19-year-old will be keen to impress having been linked with a move to the Premier League throughout the transfer window.
Jurgen Klopp is likely to select an otherwise unchanged line-up, having named the same back four in his sides last three outings.
Arsene Wenger will once again find himself in the stands, this time firmly as an observer, following the extension of his touchline ban for communicating to the bench during his side’s first leg clash with Udinese.
Expect Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker to be handed their Champions League debuts for the club, whilst Gervinho and Alex Song will return to contention following their Premier League suspensions.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- The last time these two sides met was in the group stages of the 2002-2003 Champions League. Arsenal emerged victorious at Highbury thanks to goals from Freddie Ljungberg and Dennis Bergkamp (pictured right).
- Tomas Rosicky was on target in the reverse fixture, grabbing the winner from the penalty spot for Borussia Dortmund against his future club, who still progressed to the second round of the competition despite the 2-1 defeat in Germany.
- As in 2002, Dortmund line up against Tuesday’s opponents as current Bundesliga champions, having won last season’s league with 75 points, seven ahead of second-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
- As with Wenger’s side, the Germans have made an uninspiring start to the new campaign, with a 2-1 home defeat to Hertha Berlin on Saturday leaving Klopp’s men lying in 11th place after five games.
- Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park is the biggest capacity stadium in Germany and can hold a maximum of 80,552 fans, averaging just under an 80,000 attendance last season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Arsenal FC
- 25.96 %
Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Arsenal FC
- 14.28 %
Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Arsenal FC
- 11.01 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||6 Nov 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Arsenal FC 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||22 Oct 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Borussia Dortmund 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||23 Nov 2011||Arsenal FC 2 - Borussia Dortmund 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||13 Sep 2011||Borussia Dortmund 1 - Arsenal FC 1|
|19 Apr 2014||Borussia Dortmund 4 - 1. FSV Mainz 05 2||BUN|
|15 Apr 2014||Borussia Dortmund 2 - VfL Wolfsburg 0||GERC|
|12 Apr 2014||FC Bayern München 0 - Borussia Dortmund 3||BUN|
|8 Apr 2014||Borussia Dortmund 2 - Real Madrid 0||UCL|
|5 Apr 2014||Borussia Dortmund 2 - VfL Wolfsburg 1||BUN|
|8||Antônio da Silva||Midfielder|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
The German playmaker was reportedly courted by both Arsenal and Manchester United throughout this summer’s transfer window, and whilst a move failed to materialise, the midfielder will be keen to showcase his ability on Europe’s biggest stage.
Last season’s youthful Dortmund side will need to show maturity and consistency if they are to balance the tribulations of both a domestic and European campaign, and Gotze could be the key to handling the transition.
A quick return to his homeland for the 26-year-old centre-back, and possibly a welcome one, with the German international looking uncomfortable in his Premier League debut against Swansea City on Saturday.
Whilst a 1-0 victory ensured the Welsh side’s goalless start to the season continued, the new signing looked slow and laboured at times, although adjustment time is needed and the slower pace of the European game may allow him to show his true potential on Tuesday.
With both sides enduring a faltering start to their respective domestic seasons, I expect a close affair at the Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday, a game which Arsenal may consider themselves lucky to involved in after their somewhat fortuitous victory over Udinese in qualifying.Both will be boosted by the inclusion of new signings and returning players, and whilst Dortmund will look to make home advantage count, I have a feeling Arsene Wenger’s side may continue to ride their luck and secure a hard-earned away point.