Arsenal vs Dinamo Zagreb – UEFA Champions League – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

Arsenal host Dinamo Zagreb at the Emirates on Matchday Five in a Group F fixture of the UEFA Champions League in an encounter which both teams need to win to keep their hopes of reaching the knock-outs alive. The Gunners were beaten in the reverse fixture on Matchday One and must win tomorrow to climb off the bottom of the table.

Team News

Arsenal’s injury concerns have grown during their 2-1 loss at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday with Mikel Arteta and Francis Coquelin joining the list of sidelined players, the latter being ruled out for upto three months. Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky, David Ospina, Alex-Oxlaide Chamberlain and Theo Walcott are the other long term absentees for Arsene Wenger’s side. Aaron Ramsey is back to training, but might not be risked from the start, ahving just recovered from a hamstring injury.

Dinamo Zagreb do not have any injury concerns but will be without Josip Pivaric, who was sent off in their last game. Arijan Ademi is also absent after he was suspended for four years for failing a drugs test after their 2-1 win over Arsenal in the reverse fixture.

Arsenal Possible Starting Lineup: Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Mathieu Flamini, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Kieran Gibbs, Olivier Giroud.

Dinamo Zagreb Possible Starting Lineup: Eduardo, Alexandru Matel, Jeremy Taravel, Leonardo German Sigali, Mario Musa, Domagoj Antolic, Marko Rog, Marko Pjaca, Paulo Machado, Junior Fernandes, Armin Hodzic.

Contributor’s Pick

According to Head-2-Head statistics, Arsenal have won two of their previous three encounters with Dinamo Zagreb. Dinamo were beaten 5-1 on aggregate by Arsenal in the 2006/07 third qualifying round, losing 3-0 at home and 2-1 away. Although history is on the Gunners’ side, they have to cope with the injuries to their key players.

An Arsenal victory, along with an Olympiacos defeat at Bayern Munich, would give the north Londoners a chance to finish second – the Gunners visit Olympiacos on 9th December. Dinamo need to win and hope Bayern lose at home to Olympiacos to have a chance of overtaking them for second place when they meet in Zagreb on Matchday six.

Based on current form, Arsenal are likely to win, with 2-1 being the most probable scoreline.

“We want to bounce back. We cannot change the past, the only thing we can do is bounce back on Tuesday night. It is a difficult moment for us, yes.”

– Arsene Wenger.

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