GMS Academy Member Brendan Bernegger is in the latter stages of his analysis of each Champions League group - today he covers Group F.
Out of every single group in the Champions League I was the most excited about this one. If you recall in 2011, three of these teams were placed in the same group, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, and Marseille were all together in Group F.
Olympiacos was the last team but they have been replaced by an exciting Napoli side. When the group draw took place I knew Arsenal was going to struggle big time.
That was before they signed Mesut Özil. Özil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for a fee to be believed around €50 million. And he is just another name to add to a young midfield that already boasts names like Cazorla, Wilshere, and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Özil will make an enormous difference and will fill a permanent play maker role, something that Arsenal has lacked since Cesc Fabregas left the club. Arsene Wenger was under fire this transfer window as he needed to sign big names to keep up with Chelsea, both Manchester clubs, Tottenham, and even Liverpool, who have all gone out and signed players.
After being linked with many players, he finally pulled the trigger and signed one of the biggest names in football. Arsenal was being linked with names such as Cabaye, Fabregas, Villa, and even Benteke.
But Wenger proved that patience is a virtue by waiting until the very last minute to sign a big name. Initially it looked like Arsenal could be possibly destined for Europa League football but with the signing of Özil, Arsenal should be able to clinch that second spot right behind Borussia Dortmund.
Marseille missed out on the 2012-2013 Champions League campaign after a dismal 10th place finish during the 2011-2012 season. Last time Marseille was in the Champions League, they went all the way to the quarterfinals before succumbing to Bayern Munich.
The nine time French champions will be in for a rough Champions League as they have to face a rejuvenated Arsenal team, a young Borussia Dortmund squad, and lastly an experienced Napoli squad who did some damage this transfer window.
Most of Marseille's chances will fall to André-Pierre Gignac who scored 13 goals in the league last year. Also, Marseille recently acquired Dimitri Payet from Lille who scored 12 goals last term. They really have little to boast about this Champions League and should expect an early exit from the competition.
After losing in the Champions League final to league rivals Bayern Munich, Dortmund are looking to re-create their magic from last year. They lost wonder kid Mario Götze to the same team that beat them in the epic all-German final.
But Dortmund rebounded and acquired some big names this transfer window. Dortmund first signed Greece international and former Werder Bremen player, Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
The 25-year-old joins the likes of Mats Hummels, Neven Subotic and Lukasz Piszczek and forms a strong back four.
Dortmund then got Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Saint-Etienne. The Gabon International was the second highest goal scorer in Ligue 1 last year.
Lastly, Dortmund signed Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Dontesk. Mkhitaryan will replace Götze and play as an attacking midfielder.
The Armenian international will have a huge impact on the team as Mkhitaryan has Champions League experience with Shakhtar Donetsk - and Dortmund has the best team in the group so will cruise to a first place finish.
A second place Serie A finish assured Napoli Champions League football. Last time they were in the Champions League they finished second in a group that consisted of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and Villarreal.
They proceeded to draw Chelsea in the Round of 16 and nearly beat them after winning 3-1 at home. Chelsea turned it around and won 4-1 in the second leg making sure they progressed 5-4 on aggregate.
But Napoli went out this transfer window and bought an abundance of talent. These signings include Gonzalo Higuain, Jose Callejón, Raul Albiol, Dries Mertens and Duvan Zapata. They spent about €87 million on players but did lose a club legend.
Edinson Cavani packed up his bags and took his talents to Paris for a massive €63.3 million transfer fee. The Uruguayan international was the face of Napoli for the past three years and was the top scorer in last year`s Serie A.
New gaffer Rafa Benitez is known for producing magic in European competition and has won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.
Napoli still need to get the hang of things and establish a form of team chemistry and will no doubt start off slowly. They open up against Dortmund at home on the 18th of September.
If Napoli was placed in a different group like group G for example, they would advance to the next round. But this year has Europa League written all over it for Napoli.
1. Borussia Dortmund
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