The BVB coach has been muted as a possible successor to Arsene Wenger, though both will be preoccupied with getting the point they need to top the group and qualify respectively
Arsene Wenger will be desperate to get his Arsenal side back on track when they face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The German coach has long been linked with a move to the Premier League – and recently dropped a hint that he is ready to take over at an English club – and Wenger will be hoping his counterpart does not get too comfortable at the Emirates Stadium.
The Arsenal boss has endured a tough few weeks, with Anderlecht and Swansea both coming from behind to draw and beat the Gunners respectively, and is under increasing pressure after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
Now the north Londoners face another tough test against a Dortmund side who have struggled domestically – languishing in 16th place in the Bundesliga – but who have shone in Europe and already booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, needing just one point against Arsenal to progress as group winners.
Wenger’s men are also desperately chasing the single point that will see them into the knockout stages, with Wojciech Szczesny is keen to banish memories of the 3-3 draw with Anderlecht last time out in this competition, an implosion that has been followed by back-to-back league defeats.
Arsenal suffered a 2-1 loss when Dortmund visited the Emirates Stadium last season, and were beaten by BVB at Signal Iduna Park in September, but the Polish goalkeeper – a doubt for Wednesday’s match after colliding with Kieran Gibbs against United – is confident the Gunners can pick up a positive result this time around.
“We all know that our last match in the Champions League at home to Anderlecht was disappointing,” Szczesny told the club’s website. “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 counterattacking 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.”
Arsenal, who will also qualify if Anderlecht’s clash with Galatasaray ends all square, will be boosted by the news that Dortmund star Marco Reus has been ruled out until the New Year with an ankle injury.
The attacker picked up the ligament tear during his side’s 2-2 draw with Paderborn on Saturday.
Wednesday’s hosts, meanwhile, will be without the fit-again Olivier Giroud, who was not registered as part of Arsenal’s Champions League squad, while Jack Wilshere (ankle) is understood to be set for a fortnight on the sidelines with an ankle problem picked up against United.