Champions League Match Preview: Group F

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Updated: December 4, 2013
Arsenal podolski

Arsene Wenger’s erratic fixtures risk Arsenal’s bid in the domestic and Champions League. One wrong move and they endanger their Champions League bid and at  the same time, the race for the Premier League title. Without enough rest, the club’s top brass fears that it might affect the quality and health conditions of their players. 


On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp is the exact opposite of Wenger. The manager is assured of its Champions League spot after beating Napoli and they are back to get their revenge over a missed title last season.

 

With the upcoming down the wire matches, one can also expect online betting enthusiasts join in the thrill and excitement of the clashes.

 

 

Napoli vs Arsenal

 

Match Date: 11 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Stadio San Paolo

Team Form

Napoli

The Partenopei pay a heavy price for losing the match against Borussia Dortmund. The Italian outfit is left with no other recourse but to beat the group leader, Arsenal and that Dortmund loses to Marseille.

 

Napoli, Arsenal and Dortmund are all qualified for the knockout stage. Unfortunately, Napoli carries a large portion of this burden as they are tied with Jurgen Klopp’s side with 9 points. However, last season’s runner-up gains the advantage as it has a better goal difference. Thus, beating the Gunners shall give them 3 additional points and therefore, pass the qualification pressure unto them.
Rafael Benitez and his squad started strong in the tournament. They have won 3 of their last 5 matches. Yet, this was not enough to ensure their progress. Adding more problems is the uncertain return of Marek Hamsik. The midfielder is still nursing a foot injury during their encounter against Parma.

 

Arsenal

The Gunner’s head honcho, Arsene Wenger cannot help but express his disappointment over the demanding schedule. Their upcoming fixture leaves them with little rest and opens the possibilities of risking a match in the domestic and Champions Leagues.
Prior to travelling to San Paolo, the Gunners must first face Hull City and Everton. Considering the travel time, the club will only have a day or two to give their legs a much needed break. On top of it, Arsenal cannot afford to lose or settle for a draw. The slightest mistake opens an avenue for Manchester City and Chelsea, which have been keeping the pressure against their side to take the center stage. Similarly, Napoli might just stun them.

 

Wengher is said to give Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs some rest, while Theo Walcott shall be joining the starting XI. Though there are speculations that such lineup may result to loopholes, Wenger is left with no other choice.

 

Yet, looking into the brighter side of life, Lukas Podolski is back on training after a hamstring injury sidelined him for almost 3 months.

 

Champions League betting tip: Arsenal 

 

Marseille vs Borussia Dortmund

 

Match Date: 11 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Stade Vélodrome

 

Team Form

Marseille

With Mathieu Valbuena being sidelined, Marseille’s Champions League campaign has already ended.
Valbuena is one of Marseille’s trusted playmaker, who creates scoring opportunities for the club. Unfortunately, he picked up a shoulder injury during the Lille encounter. Valbuena is expected to be out of the pitch for about  4 to 6 weeks.

 

Marseille is already out of the tournament after failing to win a single match. However, the upcoming match could serve as their stepping stones as they vie for more international success in the future.

 

Borussia Dortmund

Defeating Napoli ensures Dortmund’s progress into the knockout stage. Last season’s runner up only need to clinch a single victory to equalize with Arsenal should the latter lose to the Partenopei.

 

The pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s side has been minimized due to its most recent win. Placed under the so-called “ group of death, “ Dortmund’s journey was never devoid of struggles and disappointments. They lost their first Champions League match to Napoli and they found it difficult to beat the Gunners. Nevertheless, all their sacrifices paid off as they are assured of a spot in the knockout phase.
Dortmund’s upcoming opponent is Marseille. As mentioned, it has never won a single match in the tournament. Winning over them should not be too much of a problem as they are the group’s minnows anyway.

 

Champions League betting tip: Borussia Dortmund

 

 

 

Image Source: Sky Sports