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Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal Preview – Line-ups, Injury News, Tactics, And Prediction

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Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal Preview

With convincing wins in their first two champions league games, Arsenal were thought to be cruising to the knock out stages, but a sudden home defeat against a good Borussia Dortmund side changed the group back into the original “Group of Death” state. Now, Arsenal share same points with Dortmund and Italian side Napoli. So, every match hereafter will be a crucial one for the Gunners in order to make sure of the qualification.

Arsene Wenger will hope his army can break the yellow fortress. Dortmund’s home record is unbelievable this season. They have played eight games and won all. But on the other hand, Arsenal have a good away record too. Whatever happens, this match will be a treat to watch for the neutrals.

Sagna Arsenal
Can Arsenal do it?

Team And Injury News

Both the sides have some injury problems ahead of the big game. For Arsenal, Wenger had confirmed earlier that both Theo Walcott and Mathieu Flamini will miss the European night. Nacho Monreal/Vermaelen expected to replace Gibbs as he is still a doubt for the game. Podolski and Ox are the long-term absentees. Jack Wilshere is also a doubt.

For the German side, influential pair Sebastian Kehl and Ilkay Gundogan are out with injuries. Full-back Lukasz Piszczek is also sidelined since the surgery he had in Summer.

Predicted Lineups

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Grosskreutz, Hummels, Subotic, Schmelzer; Sahin, Blaszczykowski, Bender; Mkhitaryan, Reus; Lewandowski

Arsenal: Szczesny; Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna; Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky; Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud

Tactics

It’s the Christmas Tree

In recent games, Arsene Wenger changed the team formation from his favorite 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 to the Christmas Tree or 4-3-2-1. This change was mainly due the injured wingers. With playmakers starting in the wide, they naturally tend to come central as the match progresses, in the process crowding the midfield. While this tactics may be helpful in dominating the midfield, but against a pacey side like Dortmund, Rosicky; Ozil, Cazorla, or whoever plays in wings should drop deep to help their full backs. So, Arsenal may shift back to their original formation in order to cope up with the high sprinting Dortmund side.

A Clash of Similar Styles? Actually No!

Whenever a these two sides meet, there is always a misconception saying that they play a similar brand of football. Actually no. Here are the reasons why,

  • Arsenal are more interested in keeping the possession while BVB depends on their breath taking counter attacks.
  • Arsenal are more compact than the Men in yellow.
  • Player support (distance between the players when moving) is more for the German side.
  • BVB press the ball throughout the game while the Gunners do it only in patches.

Press to win

Borussia Dortmund use the team pressing tactics to a good effect. This will be the real key in this game as Arsenal always struggle when their opponents press them hard and stop them reaching their fluid passing mode. This was very evident when they faced West Brom earlier in the season, where the gunners failed to control the midfield. In the premier league, they are yet to face good pressing sides like Manchester City, Chelsea and Southampton. Can the red and whites withstand the pressure from the home side? That too without Flamini? It’s hard but it’s possible. Depends on how good Arteta and Ramsey play in the middle of the park.

Recent form

Dortmund: WLWWWW

Arsenal: DWLWLW

Prediction

Close game but the home side has the edge here

Borussia Dortmund 2 Arsenal 1

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