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September 13, 2011 7:45 PM BST
Signal-Iduna-Park — Dortmund
Referee:‬ G. Rocchi‎
Attendance:‬ 65590‎

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

EPL - Arsenal vs Swansea City, Per Mertesacker
Getty Images



Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
 Gundogan, Bender
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.

  • 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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Head to Head
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Roman WeidenfellerGoalkeeper
4Neven SuboticDefender
15Mats HummelsDefender
26Lukasz PiszczekDefender
29Marcel SchmelzerDefender
5Sebastian KehlMidfielder
19Mario GötzeMidfielder
19Kevin GroßkreutzMidfielder
6Sven BenderMidfielder
9Robert LewandowskiStriker
26Shinji KagawaMidfielder
20Mitchell LangerakGoalkeeper
5Felipe SantanaDefender
8Antônio da SilvaMidfielder
16Jakub BlaszczykowskiMidfielder
8Ilkay GündoganMidfielder
9Ivan PerisicMidfielder
35Mohamed ZidanStriker
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
20Robin van PersieStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
27Andre SantosDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
35Emmanuel FrimpongMidfielder
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
10Chu-Young ParkStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
Players to Watch
Mario Götze
Mario Götze
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 19
Games Goals YC RC
9 3 0 0

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.

Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
10 0 1 0

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.
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