UEFA Champions League preview: Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

Author : Kapil Sathe
File photo

File photo

Finalists of the UEFA Champions League’s 2013 edition, Borussia Dortmund return to London to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night as the Gunners look forward to maintain their perfect record in Group F. Jürgen Klopp serves the second of his two-match touchline ban.

This is the second time these two sides have been paired together in three seasons. The teams last met in 2011/12 when two Robin van Persie goals gave Arsenal the points at home despite Shinji Kagawa scoring in added-time. The teams crossed the roads in 2002/03 first group stage too with Arsenal winning 2-0 in London while Dortmund emerged victorious with 2-1 win in Germany.

The London side comes into this game with a thumping victory over Norwich at the weekend. Arsenal are sitting at the top of the Premier League with their fine run of form in recent weeks. Dortmund too, are in great form, come into matchday 3 with a home win against Hannover 96 as a fourth minute penalty from Marco Reus sealed the deal for Klopp’s team. Borussia Dortmund are currently second in the Bundesliga, just one point behind the league leaders, Bayern Munich.

Though these are the early days to predict which two teams will move on to the next round, Arsenal lead the group with two victories in two games. Dortmund lost to SSC Napoli on matchday one but won against Olympique de Marseille on the next matchday. This is how the group of death i.e. Group F looks after matchday two:

 

Clubs

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Points

 

Arsenal

2

2

0

0

4

1

3

6

Borussia Dortmund

2

1

0

1

4

2

2

3

SSC Napoli

2

1

0

1

2

3

-1

3

Olympique de Marseille

2

0

0

2

1

5

-4

0

 

Team News:

  • Arsenal: Santi Cazorla & Bacary Sagna returned from their injuries to the starting lineup on Saturday as Arsenal beat Norwich 4-1. Mathieu Flamini is a major doubt to face the Germans after he suffered a concussion against Norwich. Theo Walcott has been ruled out for another fortnight as he had a setback on his recovery from abdominal surgery. Abou Diaby has been sidelined since March with a knee injury; Lukas Podolski (hamstring) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) are also out.
  • Borussia Dortmund: Marcel Schmelzer (thigh) was an unused substitute on Saturday and Sven Bender, Marco Reus and Nuri Sahin all returned following knocks in a 1-0 win against Hannover 96. Sebastian Kehl has been out since suffering an ankle ligament injury in training in mid-September. Lukasz Piszczek, out until the end of November as had hip and groin surgery during the summer. Ilkay Gundogan has been sidelined since mid-August due to compression of the spine. Roman Weidenfeller is available after serving his suspension on matchday two following his red card at Napoli.

 

Match Background:

  • Borussia Dortmund began the season with four successive Bundesliga wins for the first time since 2001/02, when they went on to secure the title.
  • Aaron Ramsey has scored 9 goals in 12 games for Arsenal this season (and 2 in 4 for Wales); he managed 5 in 91 club appearances in the previous 2 campaigns.
  • Arsenal have collected more points (59) and wins (18) in the Premier League in 2013 than any other side.
  • Arsenal are in the group stage for the 16th season in a row & Dortmund are in their ninth UEFA Champions League campaign.
  • Dortmund have lost their last two UEFA Champions League away matches and are without a win in their last four.
  • Tomas Rosicky played for Dortmund between 2000 & 2006, scoring 19 goals in 149 Budesliga games.
  • Arsenal’s home record against German clubs is W9 D1 L3; overall it is W13 D5 L8.

Match officials:

  • Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
  • Assistant referees: Mathias Klasenius, Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
  • Fourth official: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
  • Additional assistant referees: Stefan Johannesson, Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)
  • UEFA Delegate: Nebojša Ivkovic  (SRB)
  • UEFA Referee observer: Oguz Sarvan  (TUR)

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