Bayern vs Arsenal Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Predicted Score
Arsenal take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena tonight in the second leg of their Champions League tie. Here’s a preview with team news and predicted score
Arsenal are in Germany to take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena tonight in the second leg of their Champions League tie.
With British clubs all facing a fight to stay in the Champions League this year, nobody has a tougher task than the Gunners as we need to pull off a miracle and beat the reigning champions at their own ground by two clear goals to stand a chance of progressing.
Obviously we can take huge heart from the fact we won 2-0 in this fixture last season, but after losing the first leg 3-1 at the Emirates, we crashed out on away goals. If we can somehow repeat that 2-0 scoreline tonight we would level the tie at 2-2 and force extra-time and possibly penalties.
We actually started the game extremely well in the first leg before Mesut Ozil missed the penalty and the game then turned when Wojceich Szczesny was dismissed. However, we showed we can hurt them if we keep the tempo up and you get the sense we’re going to have to grab an early goal tonight to stand any chance of going through.
We warmed up for the game with a 4-1 win over Everton on Saturday and with us now odds on favourites to lift the FA Cup and dead-certs with the bookies to crash out tonight, the pressure should be off us a little bit.
Bayern have been in formidable form all season and extended their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 49 games with a 6-1 away win over Wolfsburg at the weekend – which was their 16th consecutive victory. They’ve only conceded two goals in all of 2014 so far, so it’s easy to see why many feel Pep Guardiola has actually improved last seasons treble winners.
Despite some pundits calling for Arsene Wenger to basically write this game off and rest his key men for our upcoming games against Tottenham and Chelsea, the boss is expected to go with his full strength team.
Unfortunately we’ll be without the services of Kieran Gibbs after he was left back in London to nurse the ankle injury he picked up during the closing stages of the win against Everton. With Nacho Monreal also out, it looks like Thomas Vermaelen may have to move across to left-back with Laurent Koscielny ready to be recalled after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Lukasz Fabianski will continue in goal with first choice Wojciech Szczesny suspended while young striker Yaya Sanogo is ruled out through injury.
Aaron Ramsey is still just short of fitness and could return against Spurs on Sunday, but the Welshman joins Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kim Kallstrom and Abou Diaby in missing the Bayern game.
In stark contrast, Bayern Munich come into the game with virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from. The only player Guardiola has concerns over is defender Holger Badstuber, who is close to returning from a long standing knee injury.
Winger Frank Ribery missed the first leg with a buttock injury but returned to action with a goal on Saturday and is expected to start tonight.
Olivier Giroud: While you could argue that every Arsenal player is going to have to play a key role tonight, Olivier Giroud is certainly going to have to be on form if we’re going to have a chance. The Frenchman’s hold-up play is going to be vital as when we do get the ball off Bayern and mount an attack, we’re going to need the ball to stick up front. If Giroud’s touch is off this evening, he’s going to be gifting possession back to the home side which is only going to invite further pressure on our back-line.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Arsenal: The optimist in me believes we could pull this off tonight, but realistically it’s going to take a herculean task. When you consider they are at full strength and we’re missing several key men, on top of the fact they are already the best team in Europe, you’d have to admit our chances look slim. But I think we’ll put in a valiant effort and at least grab a goal.
What team would you start and whats your predicted score for the game? Share your views below.
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