- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Borussia Dortmund will welcome kickoff in the Champions League on Wednesday to take its mind off a poor run in the Bundesliga.

Despite beating Arsenal 2-0 in its opening Group D fixture, Dortmund’s 2-1 defeat to Schalke in the Ruhr derby on Saturday left it stranded in 12th position in the Bundesliga. Juergen Klopp’s side is away to Belgian team Anderlecht.

Arsenal faces Turkish club Galatasaray at Emirates Stadium, but will be without Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta as it chases its first win. The midfield pair picked up injuries in the 1-1 London derby draw with Tottenham.

Here are some things to know ahead of Wednesday’s games:

___

DORTMUND STRONG AWAY: Borussia Dortmund is hoping to build on its strength away. From the last six group matches on the road, Dortmund has lost only one and won three. Even in the Bundesliga, Dortmund has more points away than at home this season.

Dortmund has only one point from its last three Bundesliga matches and has shown alarming weaknesses in its defense. “We are making it very easy for our opponents to score goals,” said director Michael Zorc.

Dortmund has given up 11 goals in the Bundesliga, the third worst record. It has scored nine.

The team is sorely missing injured players, most notably forward Marco Reus and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Klopp says this should not be an excuse. “We need results now,” he said.

INJURIES COULD HINDER ARSENAL: Jack Wilshere, Ramsey and Arteta were all forced off with injuries in Arsenal’s draw against Tottenham. Manager Arsene Wenger was unsure of the extent of Wilshere’s knock, but confirmed Ramsey and Arteta join a list of absentees which already includes Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Mathieu Debuchy.

Wenger admitted he is becoming so low on options in midfield, he would consider playing defender Calum Chambers there, but cannot as he has only four players available in defense.

But Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored Arsenal’s equalizer against Tottenham, will look to ease any issues Arsenal has in attack as he looks to become a greater goal-scoring threat.

“I’d like to score more but it’s easier said than done,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said. “It’s something I feel I have the potential to do better, so I’ll be working on that, but it’s important that I do my other role in the team too, defensively and trying to create for others.”

SNEIJDER HOPEFUL FOR KNOCKOUT STAGE: Dutch international Wesley Sneijder says Galatasaray respects Arsensal but is confident that the Istanbul side can work the same magic that helped it advance from a difficult group to the knockout stage of the Champions League last year.

“Had you asked me last year what our chances were of advancing from the group level, I would have said between 30 to 40 percent,” the midfielder said. “But we managed it, and were the side that reached the last 16. The same is also valid for this year.

“We’re in a difficult group but Galatasaray is a great team.”

ANDERLECHT CONFIDENT, IN GOOD FORM: Anderlecht is reigning supreme in the Belgian League, and after a 2-0 win at Zulte Waregem over the weekend it already has a four-point lead over second-place AA Ghent.

What’s more, after years of struggling from the opening kickoff in the Champions League, it conceded only a late goal against Galatasaray to leave Turkey with a 1-1 draw two weeks ago. It has given the Brussels side confidence for Wednesday, considering it finished last each time in its group during their last seven campaigns.

And because Dortmund is struggling this year, Anderlecht knows the Bundesliga juggernaut might show some weaknesses.

“Perhaps this is an ideal moment for us,” veteran defender Olivier Deschacht said. “Dortmund no longer looks the same team it did last year. And they face a slew of injuries.”


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide