Integration is the name of the game as Arséne Wenger looks to blend his new signings with a host of returning players and the rest of his squad for the first Champions League game of the season.
What a tough game it will be: away at Borussia Dortmund, the team with the best home support in world football, the current German champions and a team stacked with offensive and defensive quality.
Rather excitingly Gervinho will be available after serving his three-game domestic ban, as will Alex Song. Gervinho will add an unpredictable element to a side that struggled for creativity in our 1-0 victory over Swansea, Song will add some much-needed quality in the middle of the pitch.
Given the injury to Aaron Ramsey the midfield picks itself — Song will return alongside Emmanuel Frimpong and new boy Mikel Arteta, who performed astutely on his debut — while a frontline trio of Gervinho, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott looks likely.
The real question marks over Wenger’s starting team lay at the back: will Kieran Gibbs, who looked nervy against Swansea’s pace on Saturday, be replaced by André Santos? It looks a decent bet, given that our other new defensive signing, Per Mertesacker, had a strong debut and knows the German game well.
While the performance against Swansea left a lot to be desired, the result was exactly what was required. A win to get over the horrors of the 8-2 and get the new boys (and the old ones too) moving together in the right direction. The clean sheet was an added bonus and although there will surely be stumbles ahead, a Champions League tie against Dortmund offers another opportunity to shuffle forwards.
As I am based in Berlin, I was exercising the thought of going along to the legendary Westfalenstadion to cheer on our boys with the Arsenal Germany Supporters’ club. As it turned out, finances and the logistics of getting there and back made it impossible, but the game will still make for intriguing viewing across the city.
I’m excited about this one. The Champions League always offers an escape from the oft-dreary nature of the Premier League marathon and with our opponents posing a strong challenge in what will undoubtedly be an extremely imposing atmosphere it is set to be a thrilling night of football.