Arsenal vs Dortmund Preview: Time to Show Europe Who We Are
We find ourselves now one half a week away from our breathtaking display against Norwich. The team is full of confidence and our goal should obviously be a win. A win against Dortmund will show we are ready to be big winners not just in England, but on a European stage as well. As a bonus, beating Dortmund twice will severely limit their chances of moving on to the next round of the Champions League. Stopping Dortmund from progressing could impress the Dortmund players greatly and perhaps make people like Reus and Lewandowski want moves to Arsenal, possibly even moving it up to January if they are already out of the Champions League.
This fixture last time:
The last time Arsenal faced Dortmund at the Emirates was a game we won to move us on to the knockout stages of the Champions League. All three scorers on the day no longer play for their respective clubs. Van Judas scored a brace for us and Kagawa scored for Dortmund. Hopefully we can repeat that winning performance.
Here is my expected line up for tomorrow:
I expect Ramsey to fill Flamini’s spot as he did during the Norwich game at the weekend. Other than that, we should be keeping a similar line up to keep the strongest team possible.
Giroud vs Centre Backs: The centre back pairing of Hummels and Subotic is quite the solid wall at the heart of Dortmund’s defense. However, from what I hear this pairing has been having issues lately. Giroud will have to be prepared to take advantage of that and use his strength to hold off the two and do some link up plays on the edge of the box, or he must be willing to get above the two in the air for headers. Giroud is quite slow, but Dortmund’s centre backs aren’t fast either, especially Hummels. Hopefully this will leave Giroud with some space to receive the ball in open space and find another player before he is closed down. I think this is a battle that Giroud can win, if he’s prepared to keep up his usual work ethic.
Centre Backs vs Lewandowski: As important as the battle of striker vs their defenders is, the reverse is just as important. Lewandowski is a very quick and tricky striker to deal with. He will be trying to take advantage of Mertesacker’s lack of pace and his partner Koscielny will have to help out a lot, if Lewandowski is prepared to do a lot of running at our defense. However, the height of our defenders should mostly eliminate the aerial threat of Dortmund. I think this is a battle that will depend on the service Lewandowski gets rather than the quality of the people directly involved.
Arteta vs Mkhitaryan: Directly following the statement about who Lewandowski will get service from, I’ll now mention the depending factor in who will be the winner of the previously mentioned battle. Arteta will have to keep Dortmund’s new playmaker shut down. With Flamini out, Arteta will be our only defensive midfielder and he will have to step up and break up the play like Flamini does. He will have to be willing to put in a lot of tough tackles and not let Mkhitaryan get the ball off his feet. I think Arteta will struggle in this battle, but with some help from Ramsey he will be able to do it.
Casualties of War:
Arsenal: Podolski, Diaby, and Ox will all miss out on this game due to their long term injuries. Walcott is also out after a slight setback following surgery. The only other injury is Flamini, who has a slight concussion and will sit out the game because of a five day rule more than any real concerns.
Dortmund: Kehl, Gundogan, and Pizczeck will all miss the game with long term injuries, with a large group of Dortmund players just recently returning from injury.
I’m predicting another close 2-1 win for the Arsenal. I predict Reus scoring against us first and then an Arsenal comeback that will be talked about in years to come, with Giroud and Özil scoring incredible goals in the second half to turn the game around. I also expect Jack to have a man of the match performance. Hopefully there will be no further injuries to our side and we will win and show all of Europe that we mean business.
1. What are your predictions for the game?
2. What is your preferred line up?
3. Will a win here announce our arrival on the European stage?
COYG! Let’s show the rest of Europe why they should fear us!
Thanks for reading! 😀
Written by: Dylan.