Champions League Preview: Arsenal (A)


Dortmund travel to London for the final match in UEFA Champions League Group H, knowing a place in the last sixteen is already confirmed and that any result better than a two-goal defeat will see them win the group.

Arsenal have a two-point cushion over third-place Juventus, but a point isn’t likely to be good enough as Juventus are likely to beat Group H whipping boys Olympiakos, and the Italians have the better head-to-head record (3-2 on aggregate).

Only Robert Lewandowski hasn’t travelled with the BVB Champions League squad, though the Dortmund management have indicated that Sven Bender and Taye Taiwo may not feature as they continue to recover from minor injuries. Viktor Fischer may also miss out after showing signs of fatigue at the weekend.

70-arsenalLast season’s beaten finalists have their qualification destiny in their own hands going in to tomorrow’s match, knowing a win will see them qualify ahead of Juventus, and a three-goal victory will see them win the group entirely. Either way, European football beyond the new year is assured.

Arsenal are currently 5th in the Premier League, though by winning their game-in-hand, they’ll go 2nd, four points behind early pace-setters Manchester United. Though they were knocked out of the Capitol One Cup on penalties at Millwall recently.

Missing tomorrow’s match will be Bacary Sagna and top-scorer Mikel Arteta through suspension, while captain Thomas Vermaelen (broken foot) and Nicklas Bendtner (broken ankle) continue to be unavailable.

skybet95Matchday Odds:
Arsenal: 6-4F
Draw: 2-1
Dortmund: 13-8
Ref: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway)

Dortmund won the home match 2-0 at the beginning of October thanks to second-half goals from Mats Hummels and Kostas Katsouranis separated by less than 90 seconds. Manager Gray Surman enjoys an undefeated record against The Gunners, having taken four points from them last season during his spell at Wigan Athletic.

The Norwegian referee has taken charge of two Champions League matches this season, showing three yellow and one red card.