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Arsenal v Dortmund Preview, Team News, Preferred XI & Prediction
We get back to Champions League action tonight when we welcome last years losing finalists Borussia Dortmund to the Emirates.
Just like in the Premier League, we’ve made an excellent start in Europe and sit top of Group F after wins over Marseille and Napoli.
However, our upcoming double-header against Dortmund will be crucial in determining how the group shapes up. If we can record our third win in a row tonight, we’ll go a huge step closer to reaching the knockout stages.
Obviously it’s not going to be an easy task as Dortmund are a fantastic team that’s full of quality, but we are in superb form and will go into the game full of confidence so there’s no reason why we can’t beat them.
They won’t have enjoyed watching the highlights from our 4-1 win over Norwich, that’s for sure, and we certainly have the quality going forward to score goals. But they too have a devastating attack with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, so key to getting a result tonight will be keeping them quiet.
The bad news is that Mathieu Flamini has been ruled out of the game due to concussion. The midfielder was forced off against Norwich after a nasty clash of heads and Arsene Wenger confirmed on Monday that club doctors had advised the Frenchman shouldn’t play.
This means Aaron Ramsey is almost certain to return to the midfield alongside Mikel Arteta after being rested at the weekend – although he did come on in the 35th minute to replace Flamini.
We have no fresh injury concerns and no other players are set to return from injury so it’s very much the same squad that took on the Canaries.
There’s a chance Santi Cazorla may drop to the bench with Tomas Rosicky coming in as the Spaniard started his first game in over six weeks on Saturday and isn’t 100% match fit, but I’d still like to see him start.
There were rumours two weeks ago that Dortmund would have some sort of injury crisis for tonight’s game, but unfortunately Marco Reus, Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin all returned from injury to play at the weekend and are expected to start.
But the good news is that Ilkay Gundogan is out due to a compression of the spine, while Lukasz Piszczek and Sebastian Kehl are also out.
I think we’re going to see one hell of a game tonight with two sides who know how to play real football, but I’m going to back the boys to edge this one and go one step closer to the knockout phase.
Arsenal 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
How are you feeling for the game? Confident?