Champions League Group F Preview
The Champions League is back and the group stages have been drawn. This is the time when teams hope for an easy group and would prefer to avoid long distance games, especially in countries like Turkey or Russia, the cold weather also plays a part. Arsenal, even for their consecutive Champions League appearances cannot seem to get out of a rut, they have had a problem in the knockout rounds and didn’t make it into the quarter-final round after being knocked out by Monaco last season.
This season’s draw hasn’t been the kindest either for Arsenal or for most clubs. With a new seeding system, the pots have thrown some rather tasty fixtures for this season’s games. Arsenal are grouped with Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb and Bayern Munich. The Gunners would face the German giants for the third time in four seasons and we look ahead to the chances of the Gunners in the group.
Arsenal will be wary of the threat posed by the likes of Olympiakos and Dinamo. There was a bit of a doubt about the participation of the Greek club, Olympiakos, but they were cleared to take part in the draw at the last moment. Arsenal will have to be careful about facing Olympiakos, they have faced them thrice and have always lost the away leg, although they have always qualified by the time they played the Greek club, which was always the last game.
Dinamo Zagreb could be the surprise package of the group, with Arsenal and Bayern Munich expected to qualify, they could be the team that decides which club actually makes it to the top of the group. Zagreb should not be taken lightly, they would be tough to play against, especially away in Croatia.
The real problem for Arsenal could be facing Bayern Munich, the Germans have eliminated the English club twice in the last three seasons. The Gunners must be a little pleased at having to play the German Champions in the group stage and not in the knockout round but topping the group stage would be vital for any club to face an easier opponent in the knockout stage.
Arsenal, if they play their cards right should qualify from this group easily. They should get maximum points from the games against Olympiakos and Zagreb, however playing Bayern would be a test. The Gunners should easily come second in the group unless they slip up and allow Zagreb to come up and battle them for the runners-up spot in the group.
Group F: Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb