Arsenal aim to repeat Champions League smash and grab at Dortmund
The away side has emerged victorious in both of the last two meetings between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal, so it’s well worth backing them at 13/5 with Coral to beat their hosts at the Wesfalenstadion here.
Aaron Ramsey grabbed the only goal in a 1-0 win last November, and is an 8/1 chance to net the opener again. A repeat scoreline, meanwhile, is 14/1, though punters should be aware both the Gunners and Dortmund will line up differently 10 months on from their previous encounter.
Mats Hummels, Jurgen Klopp’s new skipper, misses the match as he will not return to training until after the game is played. Vice-captain Marco Reus is missing for another three weeks. Influential Polish winger Jakub Blaszczykowski is a long-term absentee and there is a Robert Lewandowski-shaped hole in the hosts’ attack, which could be plugged by a couple of options.
Ciro Immobile, a big money buy from Torino, or Colombia’s World Cup reserve frontman Adrian Ramos are the two choices to lead Dortmund’s line. Odds of 8/5 say the Italian will net anytime, while former Hertha Berlin forward Ramos is slightly longer at 9/5.
Klopp is also persisting with Erik Durm at left back, an eyebrow-raising selection considering his appalling performances for Germany during the international break. First-choice option Marcel Schmelzer is yet to play a competitive game this season, however, amid fears he is yet to fully recovered from injury.
Shorn of Hummels and him from Dortmund’s rearguard, an even-money price on a home win for Klopp seems a little short. With illustrious names moved on or missing further forward, Shinji Kagawa’s return to the Westfalenstadion is timely. The Japan star scored on his second Dortmund debut, has a goal against Arsenal in this competition before and is 19/10 to get another here.
Other members of the supporting cast are covering injuries well, mind. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are both 7/4 chances in the anytime market.
Arsenal have their own absences to cover here too, with Mathieu Debuchy, who was banned anyway before spraining his ankle against Manchester City, joining Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott on the sidelines. Calum Chambers should deputise at right back, despite suffering with tonsilitis.
Without attacking pair Giroud and Walcott, look to recently recruited attackers Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck. The Chile forward has three in his last three in all competitions, and specially enhanced odds of 11/4 on him netting anytime (max stake £20) are hugely tempting. Welbeck, meanwhile, netted four Champions League goals for Manchester United and is 11/5 to break his Gunners duck here.
As Arsenal have drawn four of their last five matches in all competitions, a 5/2 price on the shares being spoiled again is well worth considering. A final score of 1-1 makes for ever better value at 11/2.
Backing honours to finish even is also tempting, given these two are the clear favourites to both win and advance from Group D, which also contains Galatasaray under new management and Belgian champions Anderlecht. The Gunners are even-money to be top dogs, with Dortmund hot on their heels at 11/10.