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Arsenal will push for that 3rd consecutive victory in the Champions League this season, as they host last year’s finalist Dortmund at the Emirates on Tuesday.
Wenger’s men continued from where they left off before the International break fixtures in the league; by thrashing Norwich to retain top spot on the log. The Gunners started the game on the front foot as expected, with chances gone begging with love.
But soon afterwards, a string of passes, flicks, and composure fired Arsenal to a 1-o lead. The build-up and finish of the Gunners’ first goal was scintillating and definitely a contender for goal of the season.
The second proceedings, however, witnessed Norwich asking questions, and a couple of saves from Sczensy prevented an equalizer. It wasn’t to be the same old-Arsenal though. Frenchman Olivier Giroud found Ozil with an inch-perfect cross, the 42.5 million acquisition scored with an header for the first time in his top flight career.
Jonny Howson’s calm finish for the canneries brought hope for the visitors, but Ramsey’s proficient goal, and Ozil’s tap in annihilated such hopes.
Dortmund also brushed aside Hannover in the Bundesliga with a lone-goal courtesy of a first half penalty. The Gunners have taken 19 points from 7 league matches, Dortmund won 7 in 9 league games this season.
In the Champions League, the Gunners have also started in effulgent fashion; first beating Marseille away 2-1, then Italian Napoli at home 2-0. Whilst Dortmund lost their first game in Naples, but defeated Marseille 3-0 on match day two.
The Gunners should be confident in approaching this game, not just because of their red-hot form, but their impressive home- record against German sides- winning nine and losing 3 in 13 games.
Dortmund would welcome back their suspended goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller for this clash. Absentees Sebastian Kehl (Ankle) and Marcel Schmelzer (Thigh) who have not featured since September are ostensibly ruled out for the trip to London.
Sven Bender is likely to feature despite carrying a knock; the defensive midfielder has expressed his excitement on facing his fellow country-man Mesut Ozil. Lukasz Piszczek and llkay Gundogan remain long term injuries.
For Arsenal, aside Flamini who is recovering from a concussion, Theo Walcott who suffered a set-back in training and ruled out for an addition two weeks, the same squad that played in Norwich could feature against their German opponents.
DID YOU KNOW: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) has attempted the most passes in the opposition half in the Champions League this season, with 1896? The Welsh Jesus (as the media says) is fully confident ahead of this game.
Prediction: Arsenal showed against Napoli that they are more than capable of upsetting the top dogs, and their German summer acquisition has lifted the spirit of the players, albeit, Dortmund are no pushover.
But if you asked Jurgen Klopp (who would be watching from the stands after an out-burst which resulted in a two-match ban) if he preferred another opponent for his Dortmund team at this stage, he would have gracefully said yes. Arsenal 3-1 Dortmund.
Written by Femi Hilekaan
Follow Femi on Twitter @femi4arsenal
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