Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal preview

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Updated: September 12, 2011

Arsenal begins their Champions League campaign with a difficult trip to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund.

The Gunners have had an awful start to the season but following a narrow victory over Swansea at the weekend, Wenger’s men might just have turned a corner. They will need to be at their best in order to get something from the game on Tuesday evening. The Germans will be fired up for the game on front of a passionate home crowd of 80,000.

The current German champions like Arsenal have not enjoyed their start to the season. They lost at home to Hertha Berlin at the weekend to drop them down to 11th and condemn Dortmund to a first home defeat in all competitions 18 games.

Arsenal despite their poor domestic form, have a 100% record in Europe this season, following two wins over Udinese. A victory on Tuesday in Dortmund would not only give Arsenal three early points but give them a lot of confidence and hold them in good stead for the season.

Expect Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker to be handed their Champions League debuts for the club, whilst Gervinho and Alex Song will return to contention following their Premier League suspensions while Arsene Wenger will once again find himself in the stands. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been forced out with an ankle problem and Tomas Rosicky hasn’t travelled either because of a knee niggle.

As for the home side, Mario Gotze will return to the starting XI following his suspension for Saturday’s league defeat to Hertha Berlin, and the 19-year-old will be keen to impress having been linked with a move to the Premier League throughout the transfer window. Jurgen Klopp is likely to select an otherwise unchanged line-up, having named the same back four in his sides last three outings.

The last time these two sides met was in the group stages of the 2002-2003 Champions League. Arsenal emerged victorious at Highbury thanks to goals from Freddie Ljungberg and Dennis Bergkamp.

It will be a close game but both sides like attacking so there could be a few goals but with Arsenal’s dodgy defence then I fancy the home side to nick all three points.

By Ryan Bailey, @ryanbaileysport

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