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Date: Tuesday, October 22 Venue: Emirates Stadium Kick-Off: 19:45 BST
Arsenal can all-but confirm qualification for the Champions League knock-out stages with a win over Borussia Dortmund tonight.
Arsenal will be without defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini for Tuesday night’s visit of Dortmund, after the 29-year-old suffered concussion in the 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich.
Theo Walcott remains sidelined, as do Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee).
Dortmund continue to be without captain Sebastian Kehl as well as Lukasz Piszczek and Ilkay Gundogan.
However, Nuri Sahin, Sven Bender and Marco Reus have overcome knocks, and Marcel Schmelzer is also in contention after being rested at the weekend with a thigh problem.
Arsenal have won their last two home games against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League (4 goals scored, 1 conceded).
Dortmund have never kept a clean sheet in four Champions League games against Arsenal.
Dortmund’s only away win in England in the Champions League dates back to April 1997 against Manchester Utd (1-0). Since then, they have suffered three defeats and a draw.
Arsenal have only lost four of their last 47 home games in the Champions League (33 wins, 10 draws), but the last two defeats have both come against German sides (Schalke and Bayern Munich in 2012/13).
Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, zil, Cazorla, Giroud
Weidenfeller, Schmelzer, Hummels, Subotic, Grosskreutz, Bender, Sahin, Reus, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lewandowski
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Arsenal play host to Borussia Dortmund tonight knowing a win over last season’s Champions League finalists will all-but assure them of qualification for the knock-out stages of the competition.
The Gunners have put together a terrific run of late, going unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening day defeat against Aston Villa on August 17 – a run of seven matches.
They also made light work of Napoli in their last European outing, winning 2-0 against Rafa Benitez’s side, but arguably their first real challenge of the season comes here, tonight.
Dortmund, who were defeated finalists in last season’s competition, will serve as the metaphorical barometer as to how realistic Arsene Wenger’s side’s Champions League hopes really are.
With the second-highest goalscorer in the tournament last season, Robert Lewandowski in the side, as well as such talents as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nuri ahin and Marco Reus, the Londoners will know this is a stiff test.
However, Dortmund don’t travel well against English sides. You have to go back to 1997 to find their last win against a team from our shores – a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
And, if that dismal record is extended tonight, Arsenal will be in the knock-out stages.
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