Jack Wilshere says Arsenal have the perfect chance to lay down a marker in their Champions League group with a positive result in Dortmund on Tuesday.
The Gunners face a tough task in opening the campaign away to the Bundesliga runners-up, but will be buoyed by their 1-0 victory there last season.
Dortmund have lost Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich, while Marco Reus is injured, but Wilshere says it remains a stern test for the Gunners.
"We can put a marker down in that game to say we're here to win this group. Even if we don't win the game, we don't want to lose it"
“They're always good games when we face them,” he said. “It's a tough game and we go there first this time, so the hardest match of the group will be the first one.
“We can put a marker down in that game to say we're here to win this group. Even if we don't win the game, we don't want to lose it.
“The main one missing for them is Reus, he's fantastic. I've watched him over the last few years and he's got better and better. Now he's one of the best players, if not the best player, in Germany so they'll miss him.
“But they've got quality players who can come in and they've made a good start to the season.”
Arsenal have paid the price for finishing second in their group in recent years, and Wilshere stressed the importance of claiming top spot this time around.
“That's the target - we've always said that,” he said. “Over the last few seasons we've always thought we'd finish top and then we lost the last game and it has cost us.
“If you finish top you can still get a tough game - once you're in the last 16 of the Champions League you're not going to get an easy match.
“But we've been unlucky with the draw, getting Bayern Munich over the last few years. They were the best team in Europe.
“We could have got anyone else and had a little bit more of a chance going of going through so it is really important to finish top of the group.”
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