Arsenal face a tricky assignment as they get their Champions League campaign underway this week, with a trip to Germany to face reigning Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund likely to test Arsene Wenger’s under-fire team to the limit.
Arsenal have stuttered during the opening games of the new Premier League season as off-the-pitch distractions threatened to over-run Wenger and his team, but with the transfer window now closed, the Frenchman will look to address matters on the pitch and ensure his side rediscover their winning ways.
The 8-2 hammering at the hands of Manchester United before the international break may still haunt Wenger but there were few signs of his side feeling sorry for themselves as they battled their way to a 1-0 win over Swansea on Saturday.
Having lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri during the transfer window, Wenger, who still has two games to serve on his touchline ban, went into overdrive on deadline day, wrapping up deals for Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Park Chu-Young and Yossi Benayoun before the window snapped shut.
Arteta and Mertesacker are in line to make their European debuts with the Gunners , but key playmaker Aaron Ramsey follows fellow midfield linchpin Jack Wilshere onto the treatment table and is unavailable for this game, as is Czech international Tomas Rosicky and Thomas Vermaelen.
Dortmund have their own troubles ahead of this key clash having got their Bundesliga campaign off to a stuttering start.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have picked up only seven points from five games and currently lie in 11th place, five points behind league leaders Bayern Munich already.
Their poor run was compounded by a poor home defeat at the hands of Hertha Berlin last weekend, but Klopp will be hopeful the returning Mario Gotze will be able to inspire his side to victory after returning from suspension.
Arsenal were victorious the last time these two sides met back in the 2002/03 season thanks to goals from Freddie Ljungberg and Dennis Bergkamp, while Rosicky scored for Dortmund against his future employers in the reverse fixture.