Published 11/09/2011 | 05:00
Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Olympiakos, Marseille
Arsenal may find that with the circus surrounding the transfers of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri now departed, they can get on with the relatively serene task of trying to win games.
Arsene Wenger will hope his frantic shopping spree in the closing days of the transfer window has a calming effect on his squad. If Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker can settle in quickly and Jack Wilshere gets back to full fitness then Arsenal can feel confident about getting out of what is a tough group.
Under coach Jurgen Klopp, Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga with the youngest ever title-winning squad in the country. Despite losing the influential Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid they have continued their policy of spending very little on transfer fees (their biggest summer purchase was Matthias Zimmermann for €1m).
That may have changed if they had lost Mario Goetze, but Klopp rejected a reported bid of €30m from Arsenal for the playmaker and the 19-year-old has the potential to be a star of this year's tournament.
Marseille had high hopes for the season after a summer of low-key but quietly effective spending but their start to Ligue 1 has been disappointing. On their day however, Didier Deschamps' side can beat anyone and the Stade Velodrome is a difficult place to go.
Olympiakos reached the last 16 in 2007-08 and again in 2009-10 but they are unlikely to find much joy in this group.
Key player: Robin van Persie
Key game: Dortmund v Arsenal, Sept 13
Prediction: 1 Dortmund, 2 Arsenal, 3 Marseille, 4 Olympiakos
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