18 February, 2013 - 14:26

Champions’ League last-16 preview: Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

Champions’ League last-16 preview: Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

After a surprising yet deserved elimination from the FA Cup fifth round by Championship side Blackburn, Arsenal have the only chance to save the season: to go as far as possible in Champions League. However the challenge of the nearly 2012-2013 season Bundesliga champions will be hard to withstand.

Bayern Munich recent form:

At the moment Bayern Munich boast an excellent balanced squad packed with quality players. The players are beaming with confidence and the dressing room atmosphere is brilliant right now.

Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund have been dominating Bundesliga for two years but now it seems that Bayern Munich are to reclaim the title this season as they are currently enjoying their free-scoring form. With 15 games to go Bayern are topping the table 15 point ahead of the closest rivals and have outstanding goal difference +50, having scored 57 and conceded just 7 goals.

Champions League: Bayern have won Group F leapfrogging the second-placed Valencia on goal difference. Besides eyebrow-raising defeat in Minsk, Bayern have been delivering decent performance in any of the remaining games to deservedly make it through to the last-16 from the first place.

Bayern Munich team news:

Javi Martinez has missed Bundesliga encounter against Wolfsburg because of toe injury, but is set to be back into action against Arsenal. Holger Badstuber will definitely miss out for German giants due to hamstring injury, while Claudio Pizarro is sidelined with illness. Jerome Boateng is suspended.

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Arsenal recent form:

Arsenal are apparently facing lack of quality in almost any area with Arsene Wenger being reluctant to overpay for the good players in January transfer window. With Robin van Persie’s departure and new signing Olivier Giroud being anywhere near his level to be able to replace him, the Gunners face firepower crisis.

Premier League: The Gunners are desperately trying to reach the fourth Champions’ league spot; however it is really difficult task, taking into account Tottenham’s recent impressive run of form. It seems that the Gunners are going to miss out on the Champions’ League qualification for the first time in 15 seasons.

Champions League: Arsenal were drawn a tough group with Olympiacos and Schalke 04 being able to provide a stern opposition. Schalke 04 have beaten the Gunners 2-0 at the Emirates stadium and drew the game at Veltins-Arena 2-2. However, Arsenal managed to qualify to the last-16 round from the second place outstripping Olympiacos by one point.

Arsenal team news:

Nacho Monreal is ineligible to take part in the Champions’ League fixtures due to being cup-tied, while Kieran Gibbs is set to miss clash against Bayern due to long-term injury. Mikel Arteta remains a major doubt as he has not returned to his full fitness after recovering from injury.

Arsene Wenger is likely to play Vermaelen as left-back which is not his natural position and field attacking trio of Walcott, Podolski and Cazorla.

Footballtop.com prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Bayern Munich

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Author: Basil Naumov

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19 February 2013, 13:26

the Germans are way better at the moment. Judging from Wenger's pre-match conference, he is "a little" ....ed off and I don't believe he'll make it past solid Bayern..

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