By Chris Harris
Jurgen Klopp has warned his Borussia Dortmund players not to preoccupy themselves with Robin van Persie on Wednesday night.
The Dutch forward is the talk of the town after taking his Premier League tally to 31 in 29 games with a brace at Norwich at the weekend. What’s more Van Persie has already netted against the German champions this season, opening the scoring in September's Group F curtain-raiser in Dortmund.
Klopp is well aware of Van Persie's threat but he knows that too much focus on the Arsenal captain will allow his team-mates to do serious damage.
"We will prepare for him but we won't have four men on Robin," said Klopp. "The easiest way is to ensure he doesn't get good service and I think we have a few measures for that.
"It would be fatal to focus only on Van Persie, although he's great. We don't know exactly how they will play but we have to take care of Theo Walcott and a few others like Aaron Ramsey. You get punished if you let them go.
"It depends on how we act tomorrow, if we play well then Arsenal won't be able to play their game and then things will be how we want them to be."
Dortmund's young side were Champions League novices when they lined up against Arsène Wenger's team two months ago but they are in fine form in the Bundesliga. Klopp saw enough in September's 1-1 draw to give him hope for Wednesday night.
"Every game is different and in the first game we got accustomed to the Champions League," he said. "It is very different to what we have domestically.
"We knew Arsenal before but playing against them is something else. They have a much higher individual quality and are better than many teams in the Bundesliga.
"Arsenal might have had bigger problems earlier in the season but it was to be expected that Arsène Wenger would take care of that. They are in very good form, they have found their game back, they have won big games and that is a statement.
"But in the first leg we did quite a few things right. We saw how they played football but we are well prepared. There is nothing better than playing at the Emirates."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source