Borussia Dortmund vs. Arsenal
UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
Tuesday September 16 2014 | 2:45pm Eastern, 11:45am Pacific, 7:45pm London
Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
US TV: Fox Sports 1, streaming FoxSoccer2Go | Worldwide TV listings: livesoccertv.com
Form: ARS DDWDD | BVB WWLWW
NOTE FOR AMERICAN READERS:
Fox Soccer2Go is offering a seven-day free trial starting today, so if you don't have access to a TV and want to watch today's game, click here (This is not a sponsored post, I just got an email about it this morning and thought it might come in handy). It auto-bills $119.99 a year after seven days, though, so make sure you cancel after today. Not sure this works if you're outside the US, but who knows? Give it a shot!
One of the things that has served me well as a sports fan is my ability to compartmentalize things. I can put things in little mental boxes, close the box, and move on to the next thing pretty easily. Which is why, on a day like this, I can take all the discussion about where Özil should and shouldn't play, and in what arbitrary numerical fashion Arsene should arrange his players, and put it away for a few hours, because it's game day and none of that matters any more.
It serves no purpose to see a lineup immediately prior to the game and get all frustrated about what it should or should not be; it is what it is at that point, and while we all wish we had some agency over it, we don't, so for me that's where the little boxes come in handy. This is the first game of the Champions League campaign, and I choose to focus on how awesome it is that most of you don't even know what a world in which Arsenal aren't in the Champions League feels like; we're told this is the premier club competition in the world, and it starts this season (again) with Arsenal heading to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund.
Arsenal's injury crisis is, well, it is. Dortmund have their own problems, though, with Hummels (knee), Blaszczykowski (vowel deficiency), Gundogan (back), Sahin (ankle), and most crucially for them Marco Reus (ankle) out of today's game with various stages of OW THAT HURTS. Maybe we should just play Shad Forsythe's staff against Dortmund's medical staff instead?
Anyway, with all those injuries, it's probably not the showpiece kickoff to the tourney UEFA was looking for, but I do think it's a winnable game for Arsenal - their injuries are fewer (though arguably with the lack of cover more serious), and while Dortmund are a good team I think Arsenal have the depth, quality, and class to take three points.