The Gunners face a daunting away clash against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 1 of the 2014/15 Champions League campaign. Albeit an attractive fixture in the eyes of Football fanatics and supporters of both clubs, the repetitive nature of a ‘dubious’ group stage draw has meant that Arsenal have now been drawn alongside Borussia Dortmund for the third time in the last 4 seasons. But, going into Tuesday night’s game in the Westfalenstadion, Arsenal, as a team, need to get into Champions League mode if they are to make progress and go past the R-16, this season.
Why Arsenal need to get into Champions League mode?
Arsenal’s season, which has seen them win just 2 of the 6 competitive games, hasn’t yet got going. And, although Wenger’s wizards did put up a rollicking display against Manchester City in the Premier League last Saturday, the failure to hold onto the lead, after going ahead in the 73rd minute of the game, could be looked at as ‘calamitous’.
Going into the Champions League, Arsenal cannot afford such lapses – defensively, while the offensive side of things will take care of themselves. Arsenal’s flair and ammunition in the middle and final-third of the pitch mean that they won’t go a lot of games without scoring, which, subsequently, emphasizes the dogmatism to remain watertight at the back.
Coming to tonight’s clash against Dortmund, Arsenal’s defence needs to be particularly wary of the likes of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan – who can be deceptively quick, and will play a key role in Dortmund’s scheme of things. Here, you are talking about two Footballing sides that play with different philosophies; Arsenal play possession football, embellished by intricate passing moves. Dortmund, whereas, are largely about being defensively compact, and harness the pace they have got on the break.
Aubameyang, with the departure of Lewandowski, is central to Klopp’s plans, as he is akin to what Sanchez can render for Arsenal. Pace, in the past, has caused problems for Arsenal’s defence and, with that in mind, Kagawa could prove to be a key factor in Tuesday night’s game, as well.
Victories in Champions League games are built at the back solid defensive displays, which is just what Arsenal need to be doing, starting tonight, against Dortmund. And, going by their defensive displays this season, so far, they need to tighten up at the back, albeit keeping their offensive prowess intact.