European Champions Bayern Munich welcome Premier League side Arsenal to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (7:45 PM GMT) , with the Bavarian giants finding themselves in a very commanding position.
Bayern already seem to have put one foot in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League, after their 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates. However, manager Pep Guardiola will know that the tie is not over yet and will certainly not allow his players to get complacent, as the Gunners are more than capable of overturning the deficit, as evidenced by the corresponding fixture at the Allianz last season.
Although it may seem as an improbable mission for Arsenal to swing the tie back into their favour, the Gunners did manage to beat Bayern by a two-goal margin the last time they paid a visit to the Allianz and Wenger’s men should head into the clash on Tuesday with the belief that they can replicate last season’s result.
That being said, Bayern seem to have become even stronger during the current campaign and if Arsenal are able to somehow go through to the next round, it will surely rank as one of the finest victories in their history.
Since beating Arsenal last month, Bayern have been in quite sensational form, scoring 15 goals in just three matches. Pep Guardiola has not made too many changes to the line-up in the last few weeks and the Spaniard will stick with his strongest side against the Gunners.
Manuel Neuer will be starting in goal behind the solid back-four consisting of David Alaba, Dante, Jerome Boateng and Rafinha.
Bayern probably posses the strongest group of midfielders in world football at the moment and Guardiola is certainly spoilt for choice. Captain Philipp Lahm will continue in central midfield while Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger will probably get the nod to start alongside Lahm in the middle of the park. The likes of Thiago Alcantara, Mario Gotze and Javi Martinez will also be pushing for a start as well.
Franck Ribery has returned to action for Bayern following his injury and should start against the Gunners. The Frechman will most likely be deployed on the left with Dutchman Arjen Robben stationed on the right. Mario Mandzukic will probably be leading the line for Bayern while Tomas Muller, who scored twice last week, is also in contention.
Arsene Wenger has a couple of injuries and suspensions to contend with ahead of the clash. It has been revealed that Kieran Gibbs has been ruled out due to a calf problem and the defender joins the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby, Kim Kallstorm, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal on the sidelines.
Lukasz Fabianski will be deputizing for the suspended Wojciech Szczesny in goal, while captain Thomas Vermaelen looks set to fill-in for Gibbs at left-back. Laurent Koscielny should return to the line-up and start at the heart of the defence alongside Per Mertesacker, with Bacary Sagna starting at right-back.
Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini look set to start at the middle of the park with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski providing the creative spark behind the frontman. The talented duo of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky are also in contention.
Olivier Giroud will be leading the line for the Gunners with Yaya Sanogo making way and the Frechman will need to continue his rich vein of form if Arsenal are to stand any chance against the Bavarians.
Bayern Munich (Probable XI): Neuer; Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Rafinha; Lahm; Ribery, Kroos, Schweinsteiger, Robben; Mandzukic
Arsenal (Probable XI): Fabianski; Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna; Podolski, Arteta, Flamini, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud
Bayern Munich: W W W W W
Arsenal: L W D L W
20/02/2013 Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich
13/03/2013 Bayern Munich 0-2 Arsenal
2013-02-19 Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich vs Arsenal Prediction
Bayern Munich find themselves in a very commanding position and given their impeccable form this season, it will take a herculean effort from Arsenal if they are to overturn the deficit. Nevertheless, as evidenced by Arsenal’s victory over Bayern last season, the Gunners have it in their locker to cause a serious upset.
The Gunners need to make a positive start and look to score early on to make Bayern a bit uncomfortable, if they are to stand any chance. Arsenal might as well go down all guns blazing, as they have nothing to lose and hope that Bayern start the game with a complacent mindset due to their lead.
However, it seems highly unlikely a team of Bayern’s caliber will allow such a lead to slip from their grasp. Arsenal will give a tough fight but Bayern should go through. Bayern Munich 2 -1 Arsenal.
Bayern Munich vs Arsenal Television
The match will be televised on Fox Sports 1 USA, and ITV 1 (UK).