CL: Dortmund vs Arsenal – The Match Preview

After a very nervy end to last season, which saw us finish 4th by the end of it, and a very nervous start to this season, which saw us edge through to the Champions League, we now kick off the group stage with Dortmund away… and we have some insider knowledge in the form of Per Mertersacker, who was playing in the German league last year… Dortmund and manager Jurgen Klopp are looking forward to an attacking game and their manager announced today that the winner will be who can outscore the other…

“[The Arsenal game] will be a real attacking spectacle. Some of us have been waiting our whole footballing life for an opportunity like this. We did not want a group where we had to travel to Russia or Ukraine and we knew we would not stand a chance in a group with Barcelona, Chelsea or Inter. We wanted a real contest and I believe we have got this. But this does not mean we will underestimate the opposition.”

Well, if Dortmund come out to play, then we will have a real good game to watch on our hands… I’m quite excited to see Gervinho back in action now, as I feel he is the missing link in our attacking play… with Ramsey ruled out and Rosicky not yet recovered, our midfield trio could be newbie Arteta as well as two DM’s in Frimpong and Song… the full 18 man squad is:

  • Andrey Arshavin
  • Mikel Arteta
  • Yossi Benayoun
  • Marouane Chamakh
  • Johan Djourou
  • Gervinho
  • Kieran Gibbs
  • Lukasz Fabianski
  • Emmanuel Frimpong
  • Laurent Koscielny
  • Per Mertesacker
  • Ju Young Park
  • Andre Santos
  • Bacary Sagna
  • Alex Song
  • Wojciech Szczesny
  • Robin van Persie
  • Theo Walcott

The Per Mertersacker & Laurent Koscielny partnership has yet to concede a goal (yes, 1 clean sheet in 1 game)… so I see no reason why the partnership will be broken up and I think Arsene is keen to give Gibbs as many opportunities as possible, so I think we’ll see the same back four as the weekend.

My predicted line up is:


Sagna – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Gibbs

Frimpong – Song

Walcott – Arteta – Gervinho

Van Persie

With a bench of:

Fabianski, Santos, Djourou, Benayoun, Arshavin, Park, Chamakh

Our 4-5-1, I feel, is way too defensive at home, but for an European away game, this is just the tonic… with Frimpong and Song both set to start, I think Arteta will have a little more creative freedom in this game then he did on the weekend, and the return of Gervinho to the side will add more flair and trickery.

Arsene is keen to get a run of wins under this team’s belt as he is well aware of the lack of cofidence…

“It would create a certainty that we have a good chance to go through,” he said. “For us to get a positive result tomorrow night would be a big lift. It’s a good opportunity for us to get positive vibes and we need a bit of that. Every team, no matter how good they are, needs confidence and I believe my team needs that at the moment.”

As always, I’ll be back around an hour from kick off… but all that is left to say is have a great day and let’s get ready to rumble tonight!

  • piresistible

    We’ll win this. Shocking for me to be optimistic, but with Ramsey out (good news), our midfield will be much stronger if Yossi plays.
    Barrios is still out for Dortmund and he is head and shoulders above any other striker they have. I really think we’ll win this.
    We will struggle more in our other away games.
    There’s only one Arsole Wenger!

  • piresistible

    We’ll win tonight, Dortmund are not a great team and they won the league last year because much like the PL, the Bundesliga was very weak last year.

    After winning tonight, All the AKB’s will be chirping and puffing their chests out exalting the wanker in charge of our team and of course we’ll fail to beat Blackburn and Wenger the c**t will tell us all how the players are tired because of Europe. Nothing changes, we’ll still mess up top place in our group from being complacent and we’ll still finish up outside the top 4, and still it will be the ‘boards’ fault according to many. Rolling Eyes
    There’s only one Arsole Wenger!

  • afc4life

    @ piresistible:
    Why are you so against Arsene Wenger?
    Why are you so against Aaron Ramsey playing?
    Are you even an Arsenal fan?

  • rankie10

    I don’t agree with Piresistble but i do sense his resentments towards the manager and the board who have brought us to this despicable position. I will hold fire until the next few months.

  • Berth

    Gervinho could be key

  • rankie10

    mAYBE. But we have bigger problems than that. our offence play itslef is so shite. I hate to say but even souds are playing better football and you gotta hand it to old red nose his team are whacking in goal with their eyes closed. could our uselss bafoons do that? NO.

    Could our manager pick a formation that’d actually work?

  • devday

    @ rankie10:
    To be honest, I think afc4life has a point – piresistible’s comment are quite negative – considering. We don’t know exactly goes on behind the scenes and I doubt Arsene is the main issue. I think it’s down to the way football goes nowadays.

    I think we need to see where we are at by Christmas and then make judgements.

  • devday

    @ Berth:
    Gervinho will be key – for sure – he is our main attacking threat when he plays – he’s direct and powerful in the run, has trickery too – thank to Barton we have been deprived of his game time recently, so it will be good to see him in action!

  • piresistible

    Wenger cant lose tonight can he.. Confused

    Win and he will be hailed a hero by the press for sending out telepathic brilliance from the stand.

    Lose and it was because he wasn’t on the bench to help.. Rolling Eyes

    Personally i cant see us getting anything from tonight’s game as our confidence seems shot to bits.. I 8 – 2 think we could get another humiliation Embarassed If we play like we did on Saturday we are fucked !
    “Imagine the worst situation, we lose Fabregas & Nasri, you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that.If you give that message out,you cannot pretend you are a big club” Arsene Wenger

  • devday

    @ rankie10:
    4-5-1 or 4-3-3 (whatever you’d like to call it)
    With an attacking 4 of Gervinho, Walcott, Arteta and Van Persie is a good calibre of players and a perfect formation for an away trip in the Champions League

  • afc4life

    @ piresistible:
    And he’s right – we have lost those two players, so we need to back the players we have – our team wasn’t based on those two players last season.

    Gervinho has replaced Nasri and is quite a good player.
    Arteta has replaced Cesc and has only played one game.

    Maybe after the next few months you will see a different perspective.

    Why don’t you like Aaron Ramsey – he was the best player on the pitch when England played Wales and has been very industrious for us this season.

  • devday

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Francis Coquelin and Ryo Miyaichi all play tonight in the reserves FYI.

  • piresistible

    I didnt say I don’t like Ramsen. After the injury he’s not been the player he used to be. Hoping that’ll change.

  • Jeffo


    comment 1 you say we’ll win, comment 2 we’ll win, comment 9 you can’t see us getting anything from the game.

    Has all the eye rolling caused you to go blind and type negative shite or do you just copy and paste and don’t have a mind of your own or the intelligence to actually read what you type/paste?

    Bore off!

    C’mon you gunners!

  • vj

    a point gained than 2 dropped. Eceptional performance from Koscielny, Szczesney, Sagna ans Song in the second half. Walcott and Van Persie brilliant again. Gervinho had good plays but lacks composure in the box and should have scored a second goal for us. Arteta and Benayoun still jelling in, you could see that the cetre midfield was disorganized and there was too much space for the Dortmund players.
    All in all, a fighting performance for a team still missing 2 first-teamers. Things looking better.

    P.S. Santos looked good in the cameo he played. May well start against Blackburn, and we need Wilshere back to help with passing, that was the real dissapointment tonight