PREVIEW: Arsenal v Dortmund, Team News, Line-Up + Prediction

By on September 16, 2014

Chambers: Struggling to be fit

Arsenal kick off our Champions League campaign this evening when we take on Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

We’ve once again been paired with the Bundesliga giants in the group stages making it three times in the past four years that we’ve met each other at this stages of the competition.

Dortmund ran-out deserved 2-1 victors at the Emirates last October but we gained revenge with a 1-0 win in Germany thanks to an Aaron Ramsey header, with both sides squeezing into the knockout rounds at the expense of Napoli.

We’ve yet to hit form this season but we looked far more like our old selves during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Man City. The players looked up for it, we pressed in midfield and looked dangerous in attack, and we’ll need more of the same tonight if we want to get a result.

Dortmund aren’t the side they were a couple of years ago after losing the likes of Lewandowski and Gotze but they are still a dangerous team who are going to be a real test, so a performance is going to be needed to come away with anything.

A positive start is required in what’s going to be a tricky group that also includes Galatasaray and Anderlecht.

Team News

With Mathieu Debuchy out with ankle ligament damage we have a void to fill at right-back. Calum Chambers would be favourite to come in but he’s struggling with tonsillitis so youngster Hector Bellerin could be handed his European debut.

Nacho Monreal is out with a back injury so Kieran Gibbs will start his first game in a month at left-back and I’d expect Mikel Arteta to come in for Matheiu Flamini in midfield.

Yaya Sanogo has a hamstring complaint so he joins Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry on the sidelines.

Preferred Line-Up

As previously mentioned, if Chambers can’t make it Bellerin will come in at right-back.

The big change I’d like to see is in the formation and switching back to 4-2-3-1. This would allow Mesut Ozil to occupy his best position instead of being stuck out on the wing.

It may sound harsh but I’d drop Aaron Ramsey for the game. He didn’t look 100% fit at the weekend and he played poorly, and we can’t leave Jack Wilshere out after his performance.

I’d also go with The Ox down the wing. His pace would be useful on the break and I feel he’d give us more defensively than Santi Cazorla.

In reality, Arsene will probably stick to his guns and play 4-1-4-1 with Ozil out wide in the same front five that played at the weekend, but I’d expect Arteta, Chambers/Bellerin and Gibbs to still come into the side regardless.


They aren’t the team they were and Dortmund will also be without several key players including Reus and Hummels, so I fancy us to get at least a point tonight. I’d take a 1-1 draw but if anyone’s going to nick it, I’d back it to be Arsenal.¬†Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal¬†


One Comment

  1. Eric Amaitum

    September 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Per Mertesacker should start learning how to jump and head off aerial balls from set pieces. That is why Arsenal is weak in set pieces

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