Thoughts on the game tonight
So tonight we really get to see whether this imperious form we’ve been in was down to a lucky fixture list or do we really have the stuff of champions. Arsenal play their toughest game so far this season against last years champions league runners up. There’s a lot to be said about this fixture so I’ll get down to it.
Arsenal go into the game on the back of an incredible unbeaten run, confidence sky high and with the squad looking healthy and raring to go. Flamini has been ruled out of the tie and I think he’s going to be a big miss. However, I think Ramsey should be a no brainer to start alongside Arteta in the centre of the park with Ozil in front of them. On the left flank, I expect Cazorla to get the nod and on the right i’d stick with Jack. I expect Rosicky to get some game time and probably Gnabry and Bendtner too. The latter’s involvement dependent on how the game goes. The only change I’d make would be to give Gibbs a rest and play Monreal tonight.
Dortmund on the other hand have had a shaky start to their Bundesliga campaign but I can assure you that it will count for nothing if we do not play our A game. In fact Jurgen Klopp has gone as far as branding BVB the underdogs of the tie which I don’t believe is true, but then again what do I know? They have their fair share of injuries but still have an incredible team. They miss Ilkay Gundogan but have Marco Reus back. Dortmund have 4 players whom I think must be marshalled. Lewandowski is obviously a no brainer but the more dangerous ones (for me) will be Reus, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, especially for counter attacks. Ramsey must continue his form and will be called upon to help out Arteta, especially once we lose the ball. Wilshere too must be ready to defend when needed.
I expect this to be an open game so the tactic should be to try to strike early and decisively. By this I mean, if we can take a 2 goal lead into the half we will force BVB to come out and go for it which will swing things in our favour. BVB, despite having two very good defenders in Hummels and Subotic, aren’t known for their collective defensive capability so I’m hoping we can take full advantage of that.
Sagna and Gibbs/Monreal will have to be at their best because choking out Aubameyang and especially Reus will be a necessity if we are to keep BVB at bay. Reus is an incredibly talented, incredibly mobile player so there will have to be clear communication and coordination between our defenders if we are to stop him. The two are Lewandowski’s main supply lines, and so this is a priority.
Finally, if we can impose our game on them and dictate proceedings (and not just for a period of the game but for the full 90 mins) I feel we can get the points. Wenger must know that if the team takes the foot off the pedal for even a few minutes, BVB can and probably will punish us. I will not predict the scores or outcome of the game but all I will say is that I feel good about it. This is a game the neutrals will enjoy as it features two of the best attacking sides in Europe.
Come on You Gooners!!!!
Written by Marcus