What: UEFA Champions League – Group F
Who: Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
When: Wednesday 6th November 2013, at 19:45 UK Time
Where: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany
Strength To Strength For Jurgen Klopp’s Side
Borussia Dortmund are firing on all cylinders at the moment and will be eager to play Arsenal in the Champions League in front of their own supporters at Signal Iduna Park. Bayern Munich may be getting all the headlines so far this season with their own strong start under the direction of Pep Guardiola, but Jurgen Klopp’s team are proving they are more than capable of challenging in Germany and Europe.
After Friday evening’s sensational display in a 6-1 thrashing of Stuttgart, Dortmund are off to their best ever start to a Bundesliga campaign. Matters in Europe are similar with the club sitting atop Group F of the Champions League on six points, ahead of Arsenal and Napoli on goal difference. Though Arsenal have enjoyed a super beginning to their season as well, confidence is sky high in the Dortmund camp as the club have been able to pick up where they left off last season.
In-form Marco Reus believes that Arsenal pose a sterner test than Stuttgart, but is confident of his team’s ability to win. “We go into every game to win it”, he said. “But of course it´s going to be very difficult. Arsenal are strong in every position. But they will not want to sit back which could give us some space, though we will not get as many chances as against Stuttgart.”
Table Toppers Aim To Bounce Back
Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool proved what many have been speculating for a few weeks now and that is that Arsenal are genuine title contenders. Having opened up a five-point lead on the chasing pack on the domestic front, Arsenal now turn to the European stage where there is still business to be done.
Group F looks especially intriguing this season as Arsenal, Dortmund and Napoli all have six points after three matches. The section, which also includes Marseille (on zero points), looks set to go down to the final day. Arsene Wenger praised his side’s quality after the Liverpool victory, but knows better than anyone that the time for backslapping is over with such a crucial European match to play. Having already lost to Dortmund at home, it is vital that Arsenal pick up something from this match as it could be problematic if they fail to do so.
The superb form of Aaron Ramsey has been one of the reasons Arsenal have been performing so well and he believes the Gunners will be a bit smarter in Dortmund. “In the game at Emirates, we were a bit naive – it should have at least finished as a draw”, said the Welsh midfielder, who continued by saying: “We switched off and they caught us on a counter-attack in the last 10 minutes and we paid the price, which will happen at this level. We will learn from that.
“We are confident. There were periods in the game when we felt very dominant and maybe could have scored a few but we will be a bit more streetwise going over there.”
Arsenal 1-2 Borussia Dortmund (22/10; Champions League)
Schalke 1-3 Borussia Dortmund (26/10; Bundesliga)
Borussia Dortmund 6-1 Stuttgart (01/11; Bundesliga)
Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal (26/10; Premier League)
Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea (29/10; League Cup)
Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool (02/11; Premier League)
Borussia Dortmund: Ilkay Gundogan; Lukasz Piszczek; Marian Sarr
Arsenal: Jack Wilshere (doubt); Kieran Gibbs; Serge Gnabry; Mathieu Flamini; Theo Walcott; Lukas Podolski; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Players to watch
Borussia Dortmund – Marco Reus: The influential Mario Gotze may be gone, but the new driving force behind Dortmund is none other than Reus. The German international is performing even better this fantastic year than last season. Already Reus has scored nine goals and dished out eight assists, numbers that at this stage of the season amount to a career best.
Arsenal – Aaron Ramsey: Untouchable and unplayable at the moment, Ramsey’s performances have to be amongst the best in Europe this season. The Welshman has been a revelation having resurrected a career that had its question marks after he was beset by a horrific leg break three years ago. Since making a full recovery, Ramsey has gone from forgotten man to outshining stars such as Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud with his ten goals in all competitions and irresistible displays throughout.
This match didn’t disappoint a few weeks ago and it promises to be even better in Germany with more to play for. Every result and every point in this group will be crucial, and with these two teams amongst the continent’s in-form sides it has the makings of another cracking 90 minutes. To pick a winner is difficult; pit Dortmund’s great home record against an Arsenal side that broke their own consecutive away wins record earlier this season. There is quality all over the park for both, but perhaps, and only just, Dortmund have that little bit extra ruthlessness in front of goal to hold the slight edge coupled in with Arsenal’s lengthy injury list which could soon catch up with the Gunners. One could make the case for any result from this game and it should make for superb viewing. Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Arsenal.
Fancy a bet on the Champions League? Don't forget to check out our dedicated betting site!