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Untold Preview – Arsenal travel to Germany

There’s more on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

After a close fought encounter against Swansea was decided by the most bizarre of goals, we’re off to the home of the current German Champions. With the team still adapting to the departures of Fabregas and Nasri and our new signings still integrating into the side, it is a tough tie to have at this stage. However the relatively short flight and the game being played on the Tuesday is beneficial with an away tie versus Blackburn Rovers coming up on Saturday lunchtime.

The team should be fairly easy to pick for this game, with Arsenal having announced the eighteen man squad that is travelling over. Ramsey is the only change since the weekend, out with an injury and Rosicky remains out. Longer term injury victims Diaby and Wilshere are both still absent. As for returnees, banned duo Song and Gervinho are available for selection both in Europe and domestically now, whilst Jenkinson is fit but did not travel.


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

Song Frimpong


Walcott Van Persie Gervinho

This line-up is roughly what I’d expect. The defence and goalkeeper should remain the same for some weeks to come – injuries permitting – until the return of Vermaelen offers Wenger a selection headache. Alex Song is likely to come into the side in place of the injured Aaron Ramsey, and pair Emmanuel Frimpong to form a defensive duo deep in midfield. Song’s game going forward is actually fairly tidy so I’d expect him to make some runs from the deep midfield area to support the attack, with Frimpong holding back. Emmanuel will need to tone down his natural aggression. I thought he very easily could’ve had two straight reds versus Liverpool, instead of a pair of yellows and with European referees he will not get the leniency we see in the Premier League.

Arteta will provide the creativity ahead of the midfield anchors and perhaps unfairly after his winning goal, I expect Arshavin to make way for Gervinho. With this tie being away, I expect Wenger would rather pair Gervinho and Walcott on the flanks with both defending off the ball and counter attacking in mind. The pace of the duo would be a great asset on the break, and Arshavin is a man prone to tiring later on. Van Persie continues through the middle, and will be key to breaking down a solid Dortmund defence.

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The bench will have plenty of options too. Should we go behind and need something from the game, we have diverse offensive alternatives in Benayoun, Chamakh and Park, whilst Santos may get a cameo late on in the “Eboue role” coming on in a wide attacking position to shore up the flank.

Dortmund are quite clearly a good side, with a few names that will stand out to football fans. Much of the talk this summer has been around a giant bid from Arsenal for Gotze, so it will be interesting to see how he plays. If such rumours were true, he must be some player to tempt Arsène to part with that sort of money. With Arsenal still finding their way this season, I’d be delighted with a 1-1 draw from what is likely to be our toughest group game.

Tonight’s team, cocaine, the most unpopular man in Borussia, and a priest down the pub

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22 comments to Untold Preview – Arsenal travel to Germany

  • Vinay

    For once i expect an Arsenal win tonight, everytime we have been written of(udinese0, we have bounced back well. i still feel the best line up would, be 4-4-1-1 with RVP playing behind theo, theo is wasted on the wings, its better to have him upfront than on the wings.Overall an open game means arsenal have a fair chance

  • I think your about spot on with selection 1-1 will def seem like a win

  • Dundonald Girl !! :-)))

    A defensive shield of FringSong….indulging in aerial ping pong

    love it!

  • I think Untold must be the only site that does two predictions for a game – and it is interesting how Billy’s rather eccentric vision gives a slightly different team from Phil.

    But everyone is going for Song + Frimpong – which is quite a combination.

  • I did notice Billy had had a word after I published, controversy with the Untold writers going for different teams!

    I also had a look at the chalkboard for Frimpong’s passing after Stewart Robson mentioned it in Talking Tactics… didn’t look too bad to me!

  • Dark Prince

    Is it jus me or does anyone else thinks that we need to rest our best players for the weekend match for Blackburn?? Even a draw today will be good enough if we use our 2nd string squad…

  • Kentetsu

    A draw against possibly the toughest opponent of the group would be okay, although I think a win is possible. BVB did have a shaky start to their season – not unlike Arsenal – and perhaps we can capitalise on that.

  • Bowin

    I think d form shuld b a 4-2-1-3.fri/song, shld b d defensive shld play a roamin midf behind d 3 strikerz, so he culd eazily dictate d game 4 us.if he makes mistakez d def midf can cover up 4 him.den play gervinho on d right.v per.slighty behind gerv nd wal/arsh.v per shld be shifted a little bit to d right near walc.coz frm past matches i alway c walcz bal cmin acroz d goal line wif no one dere.dat wil make room 4 gerv 2 cut in nd lay a sweet bal 4 v persie or arteta.wat u guyz tink?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Looking forward to taking a look at this Gotze, hope we can keep him quite.
    The rumour you refer to really was of a massive bid, must admit I am sceptical on that one, especially with Wengers dire warning on the official site of a possible impending Euro crisis..but then again, you never know!

  • The sun really likes Wenger,the sports page of today Wenger’s Mind game makes me laugh my lungs out. After the tremors that tormented Fergie from Barcelona i waited to see what the sun will bring out but I’M afraid they showed us nothing. But if it was the Prof hmm it could have been big.
    About today’s champion league i’m very confident that we will teach Dortmund a lesson, i will go for a 3- 1 for the Arsenal as i earlier predicted 1- 0 against Swansea.
    Lets go GUNNERS.

  • Travis

    1-2 for Arsenal. That’s my thought.
    How about a traditional 4-4-2?

    Walcott – Arteta – Song – Gervinho

    V.Persie – Park

  • T2T

    Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs/Santos (don’t know about Santos’ fitness)
    Arteta, Arshavin, Gervinho
    v Persie

    Having the speed of Walcott up front automatically put pressure on the defence. Song protecting the back 4 with clear guidance on protecting rather than surging forward. Arteta, Arshavin and Gervinho offers creativity (Arshavin/Arteta), experience, defensive qualities (Arteta) and speed (Gervinho). When Arshavin tires (around 60-70 min), replace him with either Benayoun going into MF or Chamakh as the front man.

    Anybody know why Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t travel?

  • Tasos

    The good news is Dortmund were surprisingly beaten at home 1-2 by Hertha Berlin last weekend, thus ending an 18 game unbeaten home record that had taken them to the Bundesliga title last season.

    The bad news is Dortmund gave their star player Mario Gotze a rest for that game so he will be fresh and ready for tonight’s encounter.

    I’m expecting a tough game, Dortmund play good football, the stadium will be packed to capacity and its renowned for its atmosphere. With Arsene Wenger once again banned from the touchline and the team hardly impressing recently, we will need a strong team performance in order to gain anything from this awkward looking start to our CL group.

  • critic

    i fantasize :

    ———-usual 5————

    oh well i can dream can’t i??

  • Dont know the team yet but the squad is

    Andrey Arshavin
    Mikel Arteta
    Yossi Benayoun
    Marouane Chamakh
    Johan Djourou
    Kieran Gibbs
    Lukasz Fabianski
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Laurent Koscielny
    Per Mertesacker
    Ju Young Park
    Andre Santos
    Bacary Sagna
    Alex Song
    Wojciech Szczesny
    Robin van Persie
    Theo Walcott

  • Martin Hayes on Arsenal TV. Now that is good.

  • El Gringo

    If anyone wants to a) get angry and b) write a good Untold Media piece, have a look at the Guardian MBM (courtesy of Barney Ronay). Here’s a sampler (not even the most insulting:

    “that was lovely play by Gotze, who found Lewandowski in lots of space near goal by the simple tactic of passing it to where Koscielny should have been standing, if Koscileny was a better defender.”

    Roney’s not even making a pretense of veiling his scorn for Arsenal…hopefully he is man enough to apologize later on when the results are in. Somehow I doubt it, though…

  • RedGooner

    Would have taken a point before the game arguably our most difficult game in the group.
    Bit sickening the timing of their goal however probably a fair result.

  • Gf60

    @El Gringo
    Rather check out the Daily Mail (Mokbel AND Samuel)if you want real anti Arse reporting. Pathetic.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I thought the Guardian coverage was actually pretty good, there were a couple of jokes about the standard media position on Arsenal which were amusing.

  • Tasos

    Looking forward to the Ref revue.

    To My untrained eye, Mr Rocchi gave a superb performance.

  • belfast mot

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