The Gunners travel to Signal Iduna Park in midweek, and with things tight at the top of their group, another loss to Jurgen Klopp’s men could result in an early competition exit.
After two victories in their first two games, Arsene Wenger’s men looked to have the necessary momentum to storm through a tricky Group F.
However, a 2-1 defeat to the Bundesliga side at the Emirates Stadium last time out has resulted in three teams on six points at the halfway stage.
With Dortmund and Napoli both battling the Gunners for a spot in the last 32, Arsenal’s remaining results will need to be positive to avoid an early elimination.
With a tough test on Wednesday against the German side, would a second consecutive defeat against Dortmund mean elimination for Arsenal?
Much may well depend on bottom side Marseille, and whether the French club can regain some pride by picking up points in their remaining three games.
If the current form guide stays true and all three sides beat the Ligue 1 outfit for a second time, a defeat in Germany for Arsenal will set up a showdown in Italy.
With Napoli to travel to Dortmund also, it could well be that Arsenal’s game against Rafa Benitez’s side is a winner-take-all clash at San Paolo in the final fixture.
Despite the relative ease in which Arsenal cruised past the Serie A team in north London earlier in the campaign, travelling to Naples will be a different proposition.
With a hostile home faithful, a side in form domestically and a team full of some of Europe’s most-under-rated stars, the Gunners will hope to avoid a situation where they have to go to Italy and win.
A draw against Dortmund in midweek could well make all the difference in Arsenal’s campaign and ensure that they do not have to go to Italy on the last day and win.
Wenger will look to his side’s 2-0 win against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last term as motivation, which should give his side the belief that they can go to Germany again and get something.
Dortmund are certainly a talented side and if given time and space have the weaponry to punish Arsenal. However, in the first clash between the sides in England, Klopp’s men were arguably the second-best side, and only a clinical counter-attack by the visitors decided the game in their favour.
The emphasis this time round will be on the Germans to take the game to Wenger’s men, and Arsenal could well give them a taste of their own medicine by soaking up pressure and attacking quickly on the break.
A gutsy performance, similar to the one they put in against Liverpool on Saturday, is needed here, as the result will have a huge influence on Arsenal’s European fortunes this term.
image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße