200px-Borussia_DortmundArsenal_logoBORUSSIA DORTMUND



Westfalenstadion, Dortmund

September 16, 2014; 19:45 BST


Borussia Dortmund will host Arsenal FC at Westfalenstadion tonight to kick-off their Champions League campaign this season, and it promises to be an exciting encounter.

These two teams have faced each other a lot in the Champions League recently and this will be their fifth meeting in this tournament since 2011. All the matches have gone down to the wire and it is Arsenal’s three wins to Dortmund’s two in their last six matches.

The home side are coming into this game after producing a wonderful performance against Freiburg at the weekend as Shinji Kagawa’s dramatic return stole the headlines. Arsenal meanwhile made a good comeback against Manchester City at the weekend, but conceded a late equalizer to only draw the game. The Gunners have made an unbeaten start to their season, but have won only two of their six matches so far, in all competitions.

Both Arsenal and Dortmund are the favourites to progress through this group and win in this fixture will hand over a massive advantage.

Team news and tactics

Borussia Dortmund

Jurgen Klopp has a lot of injury concerns to contain with ahead of this fixture. They are still without their star man Marco Reus, who suffered an ankle ligament injury while playing for Germany and has been ruled out for a month. Mats Hummel, who is yet to make an appearance this season for Dortmund, still lacks match fitness and remains unavailable for selection, along with Jakub Blaszczykowski.

Ilkay Gundogan, Nuri Sahin, Oliver Kirch and Dong-Won Ji still remain at the side-line due to various fitness concerns. There has been some question marks over the availability of Shinji Kagawa and Milos Jojic for this game. Kagawa, who made a wonderful impact on his return to the club and scored Dortmund’s second goal, had to be replaced in the second half as there remains doubts about his match fitness. Similarly Jojic, who has been a permanent fixture in the midfield for Jurgen Klopp, will be accessed ahead of the kick-off to confirm his availability. Both Kagawa and Jojic trained separately yesterday.

Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to make any changes to the starting line-up that won against Freiburg at the weekend. If Jojic is rested for this game, Sven Bender will replace him in the midfield, but the 22-year-old is expected to be available.

Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Wedenfeller (GK); Piszczek, Subotic, Sokratis, Durm; Jojic, Kehl; Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Großkreutz; Ramos


Mikel Arteta returned from his spell at the side-lines in the match against Manchester City as he made an appearances from the bench in the second half. The Spaniard is expected to feature from the start against Dortmund. Kieran Gibbs has also returned to first team training and will start in this game.

Gibbs will replace Nacho Monreal, who didn’t travel to Germany with the squad due to a back problem. Arsene Wenger has insisted that the Spaniard will be available for the weekend. The draw against Manchester City came at a heavy price as Mathieu Debuchy was stretchered off the field. The French international will be out for a long time. Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Serge Gnabry remain unavailable for selection due to injuries. The England international is still three weeks away from returning to first team action.

Arsene Wenger is likely to make three changes to the side that started against Manchester City at the weekend. Mikel Arteta will replace Mathieu Flamini at the center of the park, while Kieran Gibbs will replace the injured Nacho Monreal at left back. Debuchy, who is both injured and suspended for this game, will be replaced by Calum Chambers.

There has been a lot of talk about the performance, or lack of it, of Mesut Ozil, but Arsene Wenger has defended the German international is expected to continue with him as a wide-attacker. With Wilshere producing a wonderful performance in the last game, Wenger will find it difficult to drop him or Aaron Ramsey. But the duo have never worked well in the pivot and Wenger will have to include Mikel Arteta in the starting line-up to play the defensive role. This has forced Wenger to move Ozil to a wide role in the attack as Ramsey and Wilshere plays through the middle. Arsenal’s formation has changed from 4-2-3-1 to 4-1-4-1.

Expected starting line-up (4-1-4-1): Szczesny (GK); Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta; Sanchez, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil; Welbeck

Players to watch-out for: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund); Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal

Blast from the past