UEFA Champions League Draw, Group F Analysis: Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund Favourites

Until the fourth pot, Group F was looking like a somewhat normal UEFA Champions League group, with a very good team, Arsenal, good team, Olympique de Marseille and a team that won't last long, Olympiakos. That was until Borussia Dortmund came out of the 4th pot. Two seasons ago, Wolfsburg were the team in the 4th pot noone wanted, but unlike Dortmund, they were one-hit wonders. Despite selling Nuri Sahin, Borussia Dortmund retained Shinji Kagawa, Mario Götze and their manager, the supremely humble Jürgen Klopp. They make the group way more challenging than Arsene Wenger and Didier Deschamps would've wanted.

Olympique de Marseilles also retained their key players: Andre Ayew is still at the club, as is top scorer Loic Remy, playmaker Mathieu Valbuena and striker Andre Pierre-Gignac. After going out to Manchester United last year in the round of 16, they'll hope to make it to at least quarter-finals this time around, but could be thwarted by Dortmund and Arsenal.

Arsenal's summer has been nothing short of disastrous. After saying that Arsenal could not lose Fabregas and Nasri and remain a big club, Arsenal lost Fabregas and Nasri, and haven't replaced either at time of writing (Wenger denied that he said that by the way). Lille winger Gervinho has been signed, though, and against Udinese proved his skill and flair can add a wide option to a side that has been criticised for being too narrow. Robin van Persie is fit, and is off a wonderful season where he scored 18 goals in the final 4 months. The biggest add, though, is a player who was already at the club, but wasn't fit last season, Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian centre back looks even better than he did in 2009/10, and is a major reason why Arsenal's defence looks much stronger.

Out before it starts

Olympiakos. They have some Premier League experience, in Olof Mellberg and Albert Riera, but that's about all they have. They finished second two years ago in a pretty bad group aside from Arsenal (and only finished second because they went up against Arsenal's Under-18's in the last match), and against tougher opposition, they'll finish 4th.

Sorry, Europa League for you

Olympique de Marseille have a good team, and a good manager, but their team isn't as good as Borussia Dortmund's, and potentially Arsenal's. They finished 8 points off of Lille last year, and haven't been that impressive to start the Ligue 1 campaign. They'll make it difficult, and will take points off of Arsenal and Dortmund at the Velodrome, but will finish 3rd.

Advancing to the Knockout stages are

Arsenal and Dortmund go through. Arsenal have European experience, and, despite many critics, still have enough quality to score goals, and are solid defensively. They have, though, lacked creativity, and need to add a playmaker and depth if they are to challenge in the latter stages of the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund should also go through: playing exciting, counter attacking football, they'll score more than enough goals, and should win all 3 of their home matches. Whether they can take points off of Arsenal at the Emirates (sorry, Arsenal Stadium according to UEFA) will determine if they finish top or second in the group.

Player to watch for

The 19 year old German playmaker Mario Götze. He's an outstanding talent, and at 18, has already attracted the interest of Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Last season he scored 6, and assisted 15, and he's already assisted 2 this season. He's a dynamic, exciting player who can be one of the best in his position for a long time.

Must see fixture

Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund.

Two sides renowned for their attacking ability will make this a wonderfully open and exciting game, much like the qualifier between Udinese and Arsenal. With both managers renouncing a defensive style of play, expect one of the better matches of the Champions League, and to use a cliché, a proper Cup gameTM.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.