As Arsenal prepare for their latest European campaign, we take our weekly look at how their opponents in the group stage faired domestically last weekend.
Arsenal didn’t get the kindest of Champions League groups when the draw was made last week. If there was one side from pot three that no one wanted, it was Borussia Dortmund, and the same could be said for pot 4 and Napoli.
Add Marseille to the mix and the Gunners will have to work extremely hard to qualify from their group. But that isn’t to say they won’t, and their deadline day additions will play a significant role in any European success this season.
Every week we will take a look at how Arsenal’s Champions League opponents have fared in their domestic competitions, giving fans a hint of what to expect in the build-up to the matches that start on 18 September.
Marseille lost out in the top of the table clash against Monaco on Sunday. Despite taking the lead through Lucas Mendes, they ultimately lost 2-1 following goals from Radamel Falcao and substitute Emmanuel Riviere.
The result leaves them one point behind Monaco in Ligue 1, and was the first time they had failed to win this season.
One thing is certain – the German side have goals in them. When Robert Lewandowski doesn’t score, step forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And when he isn’t available, they now have the considerable midfield goal-threat of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian scored his first goals of the season in Dortmund’s 2-1 win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday – a result that saw Dortmund return to the top of the table.
With a 100% record after four games – and having conceded only two goals so far – Dortmund are looking like an even bigger challenge to opponents than last season.
Napoli continued their perfect start to the season with a 4-2 win away to Chievo on Saturday.
The away side opened the scoring through Marek Hamsik, only for Chievo’s Alberto Paloschi to equalise. And when Jose Callejon again put Napoli ahead, Paloschi was on hand to cancel out the advantage once more. However, a second goal from Hamsik and a first in Serie A from Gonzalo Higuain sealed the points.
The Italian side are currently third in the league, behind Juventus and Roma on goal-difference.
image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße