Juergen Klopp wary of Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp has warned that Arsenal are “always dangerous” and insisted his comments on their “silent song” were misunderstood.
Klopp will return to the dugout on Wednesday as the Gunners visit the Westfalenstadion for what could be a significant match in the battle to progress from Champions League Group F.
The Dortmund coach had to serve a two-match ban following his outburst in the 2-1 defeat to Napoli on Sept. 18, but in his absence assistant coach Zeljko Buvac claimed a 3-0 victory at home to Marseille followed by a 2-1 win at Arsenal in their last outing.
At his prematch news conference on Tuesday, Klopp was asked whether his side could surprise Arsenal once again in the return match.
He shook his head and replied: “I never had the impression we surprised them. At this level you can’t surprise anyone. I must have missed that part of the game, even if I had a good view of it.”
Arsenal had enjoyed plenty of possession during the second half and might have taken the lead, with Santi Cazorla’s shot hitting the woodwork, but Robert Lewandowski would ultimately secure the win with a goal on the counter.
“That was only a matter of 10cm,” Klopp said of Cazorla’s effort. “Those little moments are decisive.”
Dortmund will have to end Arsenal’s 14-game unbeaten away run if they are to claim another victory.
When asked if Arsenal are actually more of a threat when not playing at the Emirates, Klopp -- who, despite requests from English media, held the press conference in German -- replied: “I don’t think they are more dangerous away from home.
“They are always dangerous and every game has its own history. Should Arsenal be stronger tomorrow than in the reverse fixture, then we are to blame for it. It’s an advantage for us to play here at the Westfalenstadion with its extraordinary atmosphere.
“If we had not lost the last 70 home games, that would also only be stats and would not count tomorrow, and that's why it also does not count that they have not lost the last 14 away games.”
Klopp was also keen to play down his remarks about Arsenal’s playing style, when he suggested he preferred Dortmund’s ‘heavy metal’ approach to the ‘classical’ music of Arsenal.
“It was a bit of a misunderstanding,” he said. “I was looking at the difference between Arsene Wenger and me and not at the differences on the pitch.
“Wenger has a much more sophisticated mind. But Arsenal will have a battling team out there, and just because we might have a headbanger on the pitch does not mean they will give us more room.”
Dortmund will almost certainly have to do without Germany international Mats Hummels for Wednesday’s game, with the centre-back unable to train since sustaining an injury in the 6-1 victory over Stuttgart on Friday.
“That Mats will not play is a 97.5 percent chance,” he said.
However, Robert Lewandowski -- who scored a hat trick on Friday -- will be available, and represents perhaps the greatest threat to Arsenal’s hopes of securing a result, but Klopp warned: “It will be a difficult game for Lewandowski, especially with the centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
“Lewandowski has been in good form until this point, and we now need to take care to ensure that he remains in good form. It will be no walk in the park for him.”