Arsenal Should Have Momentum Advantage over Dortmund in Champions League
Knowing it had to make up for the embarrassing 8-2 loss at Old Trafford, all while utilizing new players, Arsenal faced high anxiety circumstances Saturday night against Swansea. As a result, the Gunners seemed nervous and shaky during the game, but they still managed to clinch a vital 1-0 win.
The additional three points for Arsenal are a step in the right direction and should provide a confidence boost heading into Tuesday’s game against UEFA Champions League competitor Borussia Dortmund.
Continue reading to see four reasons that Arsenal will have an edge at Dortmund.
Arsenal Are Coming off a Win; Dortmund Are Not
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For a team that won the Bundesliga last year, losing to the newly promoted Hertha Berlin will not help Dortmund’s confidence on Tuesday. In fact, Dortmund’s performance so far this year has been mediocre. They’ve only netted seven points out of a possible 15.
Arsenal is in a similar situation to Dortmund, having only captured four points in four games, but the Gunners’ new signings and recent win have created a positive momentum shift. Although it’s fragile, there is a renewed sense of hope among players and fans at the Emirates. The win against Swansea on Saturday helped cement the feelings that Arsenal are recovering.
Arsenal Have Already Found Success in Champions League
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The UEFA Champions League is different from home-side competitions, and experience can have an effect. One should not forget that Arsenal come into the Dortmund game having won both legs against Udinese during the qualifying round. During those two legs, Arsenal was able to score three goals and keep a clean sheet at home.
Additionally, we should remember that Arsene Wenger has 14 years of experience in the group stage of the Champions League. Dortmund, however, has not been in a Champions League competition since 2004, and their manager, Jürgen Klopp, has never led a team through Champions League play.
Arsenal (Finally) Have Depth on the Bench
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The Gunners finally have some depth. Although Arsene Wenger will not be allowed on the touchline during the Dortmund match because of his UEFA ban, at least Arsenal has a deep bench to utilize.
Unlike the last three EPL games, Gervinho and Song will be available. Park, Santos, Mertesacker, Arteta and Benayoun will all have a chance to play as well. Of course, the Gunners are still missing Wilshere and Vermaelen due to injury, but the current squad should be able to capably cover the pitch.
Park, Santos, Mertesacker, Arteta and Benayoun Had Time to Settle
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Going into the Swansea game, Park, Santos, Mertesacker, Arteta and Benayoun barely had time to meet the rest of the Arsenal team.
Sixteen Gunners played for their national teams during the international break, which limited player interaction after the transfer deadline. Hopefully, the past few days have allowed the new signings to settle into their new surroundings and attend practices.
With each passing day the team should begin to gel. Therefore, the on-pitch performance on Tuesday should be much better than what we saw against Swansea.