On the 16th September, Arsenal travel to the Westfalenstadion to take on German giants Borussia Dortmund. The two sides know each other well having been in the same Champions League group three out of the past four seasons. Both of these sides are aiming high in both their domestic leagues and the Champions League. These are the two clear favorites in group D and both know a win in this match would be a huge step to not only qualifying from the group but winning it. It would be a monumental disappointment for either one of these sides not to make it out of the group stages of the competition. That makes this a match neither team will want to lose.
Both of these teams were destroyed by injuries last season. Sadly for Jurgen Klopp, Dortmund seem to be going through similar injury problems this season. Dortmund look set to be missing Mats Hummels, Nuri Sahin, Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan, Jakub “Kuba” Blaszzczykowski, and Oliver Kirch through injury.
While they may not be as bad as Dortmund’s injury problems, Arsenal do have their fair share of players sidelined. Arsene Wenger will have to make do without Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry, and the freshly injured Mathieu Debuchy.
- Arsenal are the only English team to win at the Westfalenstadion after their famous 1-0 victory their in last years group stages.
- The two sides have met six times in their history with four of those meetings coming in the last three years.
- Arsenal have won three of the six Dortmund have won two and there was one draw in 2011 when Dortmund scored a late equalizer at the Westfalenstadion.
- The only time a match between these two was decided by more than one goal was the first one in 2002 when Arsenal won 2-0 at Highbury.
Arsenal’s key man is their in-form summer signing, Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean cost a rumored £32m and so far has played like he will be worth every penny. Barcelona’s former number nine was fantastic for the Gunners in their last fixture against English champions Manchester City – capping his performance with a sensational goal. Sanchez brings an element of dynamism Arsenal often lacked last season. When big money is paid people expect big performances in the big games. Sanchez showed he can do it against City now he will have to do it again vs Dortmund.
Borussia Dortmund are missing many of their big time players. That means someone like Henrikh Mkhitaryan will have to step up and be a big time player vs Arsenal. Dortmund paid £21.5 big for the Armenian last summer and he has had an up and down time with the German giants. He did record 13 goals and 10 assists across all competitions last season and put in some good performances. He scored his first Champions League goal for the German club against Arsenal in Dortmund’s 2-1 victory at the Emirates. He and the rest of the squad will need to step up to make up for all the players they are missing through injury.
This is a game neither team will want to lose. With this being the first game of the group stages, this match could be played in a bit of a conservative manner. While Arsenal did come away with all three points at the Westfalenstadion last season, Dortmund dominated for the majority of the match in this fixture. This match just has a draw feeling about it, so I’m going to go with the teams each taking a point.