Champions League Preview: Arsenal (H)


Last season’s Champions League runners-up, Arsenal, will be Dortmund’s first opponents at home in the competition this season. Both sides won their opening Group H match a fortnight ago, with BVB winning 3-0 away at Greek champions Olympiakos, while Arsenal came from behind to beat Juventus 2-1 in London.

Other than Mario Götze’s long-term ankle injury, BVB have a full squad to choose from, and after rotating some fringe players in for the last two league matches, may bring the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Roman Weidenfeller back to the starting line-up. Marco Reus looks likely to start after coming through three substitute appearances following injury.

70-arsenalArsenal currently sit 5th in the Barclay’s Premier League, with 11 points from their opening 6 matches. Up until Saturday’s 1-2 defeat at Burnley, the club had gone unbeaten in nine competitive matches since losing 0-3 at Wembley to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final.

Arsenal qualified through the Playoff Stage, drawing 0-0 at Galatasaray before a late 1-0 winner against the Turkish side at home.

BVB and the Gunners have met just four times before in Europe – most recently in the 2011/12 Group Stage. Arsenal winning 2-1 in London, with a 1-1 draw back in Germany. Previously in the 2002/03 Preliminary Stage, Arsenal progressed 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-0 win at home following a 1-2 defeat in Dortmund.

Denilson, Aaron Ramsey and Pedro will all miss the match in Dortmund through injury, though top scorer Theo Walcott looks set to start after only playing 45 minutes in the league at the weekend.

In the other Group H match, Juventus host Olympiakos.

skybet95Dortmund: 5-4F
Arsenal: 11-5
Draw: 7-4
Referee: Carlo Bertolini (SWI)
Weather: Dry, 10°C