Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny believes that Arsenal can get the result they need against Borussia Dortmund and qualify for the Champions League knockout stage tonight itself. The Gunners sit second in Group D after four games and only need one point from their last two matches to reach the last 16, but the two remaining games happen to be against Dortmund at the Emirates and then an away game in Turkey facing Galatasaray.
Dortmund are by no means pushovers, but this is the game Arsenal need to win. We have the home advantage, even though we have not managed to use it over the past couple of games; and Dortmund are also suffering from indifferent form and an injury crisis. Also, an away game against Galatasaray in Turkey does not seem like a game on which we should place all our hopes. Istanbul is notorious for the hostility shown towards visiting teams and fans; their pitches absolutely do not suit Arsenal’s passing style of play, and as they showed last season against Juventus, they always can pull off an upset at home.
But Szczesny believes that the Gunners have what it takes to beat Dortmund today itself and seal qualification. Last season Arsenal had managed to beat the Germans away before losing at home, but this season the Germans won at the Signal Iduna Park. So Szczesny thinks it only natural that Arsenal will avenge that with a win at the Emirates.
We all know that our last match in the Champions League at home to Anderlecht was disappointing. But we must put that behind us and we’re all ready to bounce back against Dortmund and hopefully get a place in the last 16.
Dortmund are a very good counter-attacking team. They press your midfielders very well and are quick to attack as soon as they get possession. They’ve got some great finishers as well, so going forward they are very strong.
Last season we lost at home and won away, so we hope this season we can turn it around and get a result against them at home. We have confidence for Wednesday’s match knowing that we have recently beaten them. If we put in a good performance at home we know we can win.
We know that we only need one point from our last two matches to qualify for the last 16, but we know that we have not made it yet. We’re playing at home in front of our fans and we’re confident that we can put in a good performance and qualify.
While it is good that the players are confident, we need to stay focussed as well. The game against United showed that no matter how much we seem to be dominating a game we can always throw it away; and the 3-3 draw against Anderlecht showed our inability to make tactical choices in crucial periods of the game.
Szczesny will also not feature today thanks to an injury picked up in the last outing. With Ospina still injured, it is up to third choice keeper Emiliano Martinez to step up and perform on the big stage. The probable return of Laurent Koscielny will add some much needed stability to our defence and we absolutely must stop leaking goals to have any chance of winning big games like this one.