Last season's runner-up Dortmund opens at Napoli

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 17, 2013 at 5:52 am •  Published: September 17, 2013
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NAPLES, Italy (AP) — Borussia Dortmund has been waiting for this moment since conceding a winner to Arjen Robben with a minute left in last season's Champions League final.

That bitter loss seems to have heightened Dortmund's focus entering this season and a challenging league opener on Wednesday against a Napoli squad that is notably tough to beat at home.

Dortmund began this campaign by gaining revenge against Bayern Munich with a 4-2 win in the German Super Cup in July — ruining Josep Guardiola's debut in the process — and has gone on to set a club record for its best start to the Bundesliga with five wins.

"The Champions League can come. We're ready," coach Juergen Klopp said following a 6-2 thrashing of Hamburger SV on Saturday.

Napoli is ready, too, though.

The southern Italian squad has also had a perfect league start, winning its opening three matches under new coach Rafa Benitez.

While Edinson Cavani left Napoli for Paris Saint-Germain in a transfer reportedly worth 63 million euros ($84 million), Benitez got his wish when Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon were brought in from Real Madrid as replacements.

Along with attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik, Higuain and Callejon have combined for nine goals in three matches.

Higuain faced Dortmund four times with Madrid last season and didn't score once.

"I want to improve my record," the Argentina forward said. "I want to become part of Napoli's history and dedicate a prestigious trophy to these people. That's what I was bought for."

In the other Group F match, Arsenal visits Marseille with club record signing Mesut Ozil still in doubt after exerting himself in his English Premier League debut on Saturday.

"He was ill and has some tight muscles after Saturday," Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said. "But I think he will be OK. We are optimistic."

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