Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund preview: Will Arsene opt for rotation? Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on November 22, 2011 19:30
Arsenal will tomorrow host Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates, hoping to secure their place in the next round of the Champions League.
Before moving on to the Champions League game, I wanted to archive the Norwich one because a lot has been said, after the game, about Per Mertesacker’s mistake, about how good the player actually is and whether he should be rested tomorrow.
Personally, I feel that every defender will make a mistake in a season although if I am to be honest, I would have never expected Per, with all his experience, to be beaten like that. The more I watched the goal, in fact ,the more I kept asking myself why he didn’t blast the ball out for a corner, or a throw-in, something one would expect an experienced defender to do, in that situation.
My reaction to the goal was indeed not one of anger or frustration but one of surprise as I understand that Arsenal players are taught to play the ball regardless of their position but you know, sometimes you have to turn ugly and clear the ball in a rugby-fashion to clear the danger.
Make no mistake, I feel that last Saturday’s setup is our best line-up in the defensive department. Granted, Andre Santos needs to work on his pace and positioning but considering the players at the disposal of our manager, I can’t see a better quartet back there and this actually got me thinking about Johan Djourou.
At one stage last season, the Swiss was a rock in central defence but with Thomas and Laurent doing so well, this season, it will be very, very difficult for Johan to secure a regular place, also because he’s not comfortable at all on the right.
Maybe, who knows, he could go back to his original position, after all he joined the Club as a defensive midfielder and with Alex Song certainly needing rest during the busy days of Christmas, Johan could join the likes of Francis and Emmanuel in that area of the pitch. Funnily enough, I’ve always wanted to see how he would perform there, a position that in my opinion would suit him fine.
As for tomorrow, the Germans know that they would virtually be knocked out if they don’t get all three points so expect them to be as offensive as they were at the Signal Iduna Park, a game that if we are to be fair they deserved to win.
On the other hand, we desperately need to avoid defeat as the last thing we need next month is to travel to Greece with pressure on our shoulders, weeks before the crucial trip to Manchester, on December 18.
Will Arsene rotate? Tough to say, this game is indeed one that we cannot afford to lose and with struggling Fulham waiting on Saturday I feel that the number of changes in the line-up, if any, will be minimal.
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s a shame that Tomas Rosicky is ruled out as I’m sure he would have loved to face his old Club, meaning that I would start with the same trio, in midfield, who started away against Norwich City.
Defensively, it’s also the same quarter of Carrow Road with my only change, in the line-up, coming offensively and on the left wing with Andrey Arshavin starting with Gervinho on the bench. The Ivorian was superb in the first half on Saturday but with December fast approaching, I feel we have to rotate to understand who can be useful during the busy Christmas period.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
As always, tune in for team line-ups, streaming links, half time and full time reports, post-match thoughts, video highlights and what the press is writing. And of course, do contribute if you want to by making use of the comment box available at the bottom of the post as it’s always nice to hear your opinion. And as a final note, if you want to go one step further than just leaving a comment and want to have your articles published on our website, take a look here for more information.
And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.