Why Arsenal May Struggle In The Champions League This Season

The draw may have not been as lethal as it was with Celtic (Barcelona two years running?!) but Arsenal’s Champions League group will be a difficult one to emerge from.

Arsenal’s journey to this point began in March, following a 2-1 defeat to rivals Tottenham Hotspur and now, for all their hard work, they have been handed a hazardous group which includes last year’s runners up Borussia Dortmund, a very strong Napoli side and something of a wild card in Marseille.

Following the departure of Mario Gotze, Dortmund have reinvested the money wisely and made some key additions to their squad as well as maintaining the services of the much sought after Robert Lewandowski. On their way to the final last year they were able to escape the Ultimate Group of Death (TM) by notching up impressive wins against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, as well as playing Manchester City off the pitch at the Etihad.

The Westfalenstadion is something of a fortress, too, and the Gunners will do well to get a positive result home and away against the Germans. 

The same applies for Napoli and an interesting sub-plot arises with Gonzalo Higuain, the man who was supposed to be Arsenal’s big summer signing only for the deal to fall through at the last minute. It is inevitable, then, that he will have some sort of part in Arsenal’s downfall; scoring a last minute winner which knocks them out of the group stages perhaps. 

With Rafa Benitez now at the helm, and a number of key additions following the sale of Edison Cavani, most notably Higuain, many consider Napoli to be strong contenders to Juventus’s Serie A crown. Also, Benitez has fine form in European competitions with both Liverpool and Chelsea making this the group to watch for this season’s group stages.

Wenger would have hoped for a easier draw, but in this competition you have to beat the best in order to progress so the stage is set for Arsenal to display the grit, determination and skill that saw them creep into the top four towards the end of last season.

These developments can only have intensified Arsenal’s needs for reinforcements as their current squad surely would not be able to handle the rigours of domestic football coupled with European commitments.

All things considered, though, it will make for essential viewing.