Champions League last-16 preview: Bayern Munich vs Arsenal
After being thrashed 3-1 by Bayern Munich at the Emirates stadium in Champions League last-16 first leg, Arsenal need to score at least three goals (which is more Bayern have conceded at Allianz Arena all season) and not concede to progress to the next stage of the tournament. All in all, the Gunners’ mission looks almost impossible.
In the entire Champions League history only two teams have qualified to the next stage of the tournament after losing at home. Both of them – Inter Milan and Ajax have come back from being just one goal down. No team has managed to progress after losing with a two-goal margin at home. And yet, this is football, everything is possible.
Arsene Wenger is widely expected to field all his big guns at Allianz Arena as this game remains important for the team’s morale. The Gunners need positive result in order to instill some confidence into struggling squad. The Frenchman said: “We will go to Munich and have to go there and give ourselves a chance to qualify with everybody believing we can do it. We have to behave on the football pitch like a team who wants to do it. That will be the task in the preparation.”
Arsenal recent form:
The Gunners are approaching their eighth successive season without silverware. They were eliminated from both domestic cup competitions by the lower league sides and they have only glimmer of hope for qualifying for the Champions’ League next season as they occupy fifth place, five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Arsenal’s form has not improved much since their defeat in Champions League last-16 first leg. They edged the relegation fighters Aston Villa 1-0 and lost to in-form Tottenham in North London derby.
Bayern Munich recent form:
Bayern’s impressive run of domestic form continues. They demolished 6-1 Werder Bremen several days after away win against Gunners and secured the similarly convincing victories over Hoffenheim and Dusseldorf.
With the magnificent performance displayed by the German giants throughout the whole season, the Bundesliga title chase is almost over as they are comfortably leading the table 20 points ahead of the closest rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Arsenal team news:
Arsenal have suffered a major blow with the news their influential midfielder Jack Wilshere will be out of the crucial encounter against the Bayern Munich because of ankle injury. Forward Lukas Podolski is still recovering from a minor injury and could also miss the game.
Sagna has been struggling with a knee injury, which forced him to miss the last two games, and remains a major doubt for Champions League clash. Diaby and Gibbs are expected to have recovered to face the German giants, but Gibbs is still lacking fitness.
Bayern Munich team news:
Winger Franck Ribery is ruled out of the game at Allianz Arena after suffering ligament strain during Bayern 3-2 win over Dusseldorf.
Defender Jerome Boateng and defensive midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger set to miss the game due to suspension, while Arjen Robben remains a major doubt after being omitted for a Saturday’s Bundesliga tie because of calf problem. He is set to undergo a medical assessment which reveals whether he is fit enough for a high-profile game.
This news means Xherdan Shaqiri and Luis Gustavo are likely to fill in vacant positions in the middle of the pitch.
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