Tight Affair Between Gunners And BVB
Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal
Jaymes Monte previews a mouth watering Champions League fixture between Dortmund and Arsenal at the Westfalen Stadion.
Shinji Kagawa was back on the Dortmund scoresheet at the weekend as the Germans picked up all three points in a 3-1 victory against Freiburg. The win makes it two victories and one defeat from three Bundesliga games for last season’s runners up, in addition to a German Super Cup triumph over Bayern Munich and a cup win against Stuttgarter Kickers.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also scored in Saturday’s game to take his tally for the season to four goals in five league and cup games, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan also has two to his name for the campaign.
Arsenal, meanwhile, came from behind to lead 2-1 against Manchester City on Saturday before finally being forced to settle for a point. The draw was Arsenal’s fourth of the season, but they remain undefeated for the campaign having picked up wins against Crystal Palace and Besiktas at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger’s side are yet to win an away game this season.
Alexis Sanchez made it three goals in his last three games for Arsenal with a brilliant strike to put the Gunners 2-1 ahead; Aaron Ramsey also has three for the season – including one in the Community Shield.
Mathieu Debuchy is unavailable for the Gunners as he serves a one-match suspension for the red card he picked up against Besiktas. The injured Olivier Giroud and Serge Gnabry join him on the sidelines, while Theo Walcott is still working his way back to full fitness.
Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both started the weekend game against Freiburg on the bench, but are likely to be recalled to the starting XI here. Marco Reus has been ruled out for at least four weeks with an ankle injury sustained in Germany’s game against Scotland.
In last season’s Champions League group stages the respective away team won each fixture. Aaron Ramsey scored the only goal in the game at the Westfalenstadion, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan was on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win for the Germans at the Emirates.
This is the third time in four seasons that Arsenal and Dortmund have been drawn in the same Champions League group.
At a shade of odds against (21/20) Dortmund are a little too short to tempt me into backing them. Although they are undoubtedly one of the better teams in the competition and I expect that they’ll go far, Arsenal are also a very good and extremely experienced Champions League team and in Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck have added another dimension for this campaign. Take Arsenal at 6/4 in the Draw No Bet market or Arsenal-Draw in the Double Chance market at odds of 4/5.
Given that this is the opening game in a group where both teams will expect to qualify, I don’t expect either side to be overly ambitious
as avoiding defeat will be the primary aim. Under 2.5 goals at odds of 23/20 looks to be a sensible punt.