Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal seems to be a customary group stage fixture in recent times. The Germans have been grouped together with the Gunners in three of the last four seasons, but having beaten them to top the group that included Napoli, Dortmund would be confident of repeating the same this time around.
However, the Gunners would be going into the match looking to repeat their performance from last year, when a solitary goal from Aaron Ramsey in the second half was enough to undo the Germans. Both the sides have gone through some major changes within the squad losing key players. Dortmund have replaced their star man Robert Lewndowski with a relatively inexperienced Ciro Immobile and the Colombian Adrian Ramos, while Arsenal have roped in Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck to bolster their attack.
Arsenal are going through a rough patch with respect to injuries at the moment as first choice right back Mathieu Debuchy injured his ankle and will be unavailable until Christmas adding to the ever growing injury list. It has also been confirmed that Nacho Monreal, the left-back who started against Man City in the absence of Kieran Gibbs has not traveled with the squad following a back problem, while there are concerns about Chambers.
“Monreal has a back problem, he should be available on Friday. We’ll assess Chambers tomorrow morning. At the moment he’s 50/50 with tonsillitis.”, said Wenger in his pre-match press conference.
“In defence the Debuchy injury puts us a little bit in a situation where we do not want more. Hopefully we will have good news after he has a scan and that he will be back soon.”
For Dortmund the injury pile is even worse as Jurgen Klopp will have to set his team without the services of first team players Jakub Blaszczykowski, Ilkay Gundogan, Oliver Kirch, Nuri Sahin and Marco Reus, while sweating on the fitness reports of German International Mats Hummels.
It is likely that former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa will return to the starting berth at Dortmund where he will be likely joined by Immobile.
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal Possible Starting Lineups:
Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Durm; Kehl, Groskreutz; Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Ramos; Immobile
Arsenal: Szczesny; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Wilshere, Arteta, Ramsey; Sanchez, Welbeck, Cazorla
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal Match Facts:
- Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal have been drawn in the same Champions League group for the fourth time in total. It’s the third time in the last four seasons.
- The Champions League record between Dortmund and Arsenal at the Westfalenstadion is balanced: one win each, one draw and three goals each.
- Borussia Dortmund have never kept a clean sheet against Arsenal (6 games).
- The Gunners are unbeaten in their last six away games in Germany (W3 D3), including one win and one draw in the Westfalenstadion.
- Arsenal have only kept three clean sheets in their last 28 Champions League games away from home.
- Arsenal have never scored more than two goals in their last 14 Champions League games.
- Arsenal have had a player sent off in four of their last five matches in European competition, qualifiers included.
- Marco Reus has scored four goals and delivered two assists in his last five Champions League games.
- Arsène Wenger has taken charge of 160 games in the Champions League, more than any other current manager. Only Alex Ferguson has more (190).
Facts compiled from asia.eurosport.com
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal Prediction:
A 1-1 draw.