Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal finished in the 3rd place last season and entered the European Competition. They were drawn in Group G with Bayern Munchen, Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb. The Gunners will play their first Champions League fixture against Dinamo Zagreb on Match Day 1. They are fresh from a 2-0 victory in the weekend and will try their best to get all three points from this opening game.
The Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb, on the other hand, had to play the qualifiers to get to the group stage of the competition. They are unbeaten in the competition and have every chance of causing an early upset in the league. This article is a Preview of the Dinamo Zagreb vs Arsenal game. It also includes team news and predictions.
The game between Dinamo Zagreb and Arsenal will be played on Wednesday the 16th of September at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb. The match will kick off at 7:45 pm BST (12:15 am on Thursday IST).
For the Gunners, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are both injured and will miss this crucial clash on Thursday. Both the players are expected to be on the sidelines for at least a month. Per Mertesacker and Thomas Rosicky are also unavailable for selection.
For Zagreb, defender Gordon Schildenfeld will miss this game due to an injury he picked up. The manager will also miss the services of Goncalo Santos who picked a suspension in the last game in the playoffs.
Arsenal looked fluid in their last home game as they beat Stoke 2-0. Both their strikers were on the score sheet and they dominated the game from the beginning. The defense also looked solid and Wenger will want his team to play the same kind of football in this Champions League fixture.
However, they will be severely tested by the in-form team from the qualifiers. Dinamo Zagreb has not lost a single game in their campaign so far. In their last three competitive games, they have managed to score 11 goals and conceded only 1. Their last game ended in a 4-0 victory and they will be full of confidence coming into this match.
Arsenal will have to find a way to break them and also to contain them. It will be interesting to see how the home teams set up as it could be dangerous to sit back and defend from the beginning. Wenger will have his plans, but this match has all the makings of a close encounter.
Dinamo Zagreb: Eduardo; Ivo Pinto, Sigali, Taravel, Pivaric; Fernandes, Machado, Antolic, Pjaca; Soudani. Henriquez
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs; Cazorla, Coquelin; Ozil, Ramsey, Sanchez; Giroud
Dinamo Zagreb – 7.00
Draw – 4.33
Arsenal – 1.5
Arsenal has started the season with a loss but has slowly come back into the mix at the top of the table. They played well in their last game and have found their range after a sedate start. But they will run into a spirited Zagreb side who are in top form. Arsenal will love to take all three points from this game, but it will not be easy away from home.
Our Predictions: Dinamo Zagreb 2-2 Arsenal