Breaking Down Borussia Dortmund's Champions League Group Stage Opponents

Stefan Bienkowski@@SbienkowskiFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

Breaking Down Borussia Dortmund's Champions League Group Stage Opponents

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    Borussia Dortmund learned their opponents for the preliminary stage of their coming Champions League campaign this week, with the draw for the group stages of the European competition made in Monaco on Thursday afternoon. 

    Jurgen Klopp's side haven't had the best start to their domestic challenge of the Bundesliga title. Therefore, the enthusiastic coach may well have hoped for an easier run against European competition as he looks to steady the boat. 

    Having reached the final at Wembley just two seasons ago with a number of players who are still present in this squad, supporters will be hopeful of another strong performance in this season's competition, especially considering it took the eventual champions, Real Madrid, to knock them out last year. 

    Here is the run down of Dortmund's Group D opponents. 

Pot 1 Side: Arsenal

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    Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press

    In what is becoming an almost absurd amount of misfortune, Dortmund have been drawn against Premier League side Arsenal in the group stages for the second year in a row.

    The two clubs have faced off three times in the competition, with both sides taking three points off each other in Group F a year ago.

    Oddly enough, both beat the other away from home, showcasing just how little there was between these two clubs last season. Yet, with Arsenal signing Alexis Sanchez among others over the summer window, Klopp will be well aware of the added threat the London club bring with them this year. 

    Arsenal will be pushing for that first-place finish in Group D, and it will be up to Klopp to make sure his side can stop them. 

Pot 3 Side: Galatasaray

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Despite both clubs being regular participants in Europe's most prestigious competition, Dortmund and Turkish side Galatasaray have only been drawn together in the group stage once in the tournament's history. 

    Dortmund fans will remember the two legs against the Turkish side in the UEFA Cup in 2000, in which the German side lost 2-0 on aggregate. However, we'd have to go as far back as the 1997/98 season to find their last encounter in the Champions League. 

    In any case, Dortmund will have to be wary of a side that reached the last 16 last season and the quarter-finals the year before. Klopp's team may be favourites over the two games in this coming group stage, but only just. 

Pot 4 Side: RSC Anderlecht

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    Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

    Klopp will take heart from avoiding larger teams in Pot 4 and instead facing off against Anderlecht. 

    Although the Belgian side have regularly qualified for the competition, they haven't made it out of the group stage (or it's former equivalent, the round of 32) since the 2009/10 season. 

    With tougher opposition such as Galatasaray and Arsenal both pushing for a qualification spot in this group, Dortmund will be well aware of the need to claim a necessary six points against Anderlecht in both the home and away ties.