Can Arsenal Bounce Back Again?
Former player and manager Iain Dowie is credited with making up the word “bouncebackability” and it’s a quality Arsenal have shown in abundance in recent times. And they will certainly need it again against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.
Arsene Wenger’s men are 4/1.to win in Germany and 11/4 to draw and they really could do with a positive result after a 2-1 home defeat to the crack Bundesliga outfit left them in real danger of failing to make the Champions League knock-out stages for the first time in ten years.
So long without a major trophy, Arsenal have often been written off by pundits, but have developed this happy knack of bouncing back to confound their critics with a performance (or a series of performances) to give their fans belief again.
Only last August, they were the ‘Gonners’ after a bad home defeat to Aston Villa and where are they now? Five points clear at the top of the Premier League. And remember how they were totally – and understandably – written off in the Champions League last season after a 3-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich, only to then give the subsequent European champions the fright of their lives with a 2-0 victory in Germany.
Dortmund are a top, top team, who made Bayern fight all the way in the Wembley final last May and who are still perhaps one of the top four sides in Europe. One journalist has suggested that they would walk away with the Premier League if they were in it and although that might be a bit strong, it is worth noting that Arsenal are at a lot shorter odds to win at Manchester United on Sunday (9/4) than they are this Champions League encounter.
Robert Lewandowski may be on his way to Bayern at some stage, but in the meantime he continues to crack them in for Dortmund – a hat-trick in a 6-1 Bundesliga win last weekend following his winner at the Emirates. The Polish striker is 10/11 to get on the scoresheet again (7/2 first or last).
Arsenal also have a couple of injury concerns (Jack Wilshire and Kieran Gibbs) and, all in all, this looks like it might be a step too far, even allowing for the undoubted quality they have going forward and their exceptional record away from home.
Those who feel that dangerous Dortmund will overwhelm Arsenal will be looking at correct scorelines like 4-0 (28/1), but I have a feeling that the Gunners will surprise us yet again and return to north London with something, possibly a 1-1 draw (15/2)..