Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Champions League match preview

A look ahead to the midweek clash at the Emirates

It’s déjà vu all over again as these sides meet at the last 16 stage for the second year running. Bayern narrowly prevailed on away goals last time round, but Arsenal are a different proposition this season, with their perennial attacking artistry now buttressed by steely defensive resolve.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, they aren’t the only ones who have made improvements. If Bayern’s treble-winning season was impressive, the sequel has been imperious. Pep Guardiola’s side have combined German efficiency with Spanish flair in their formidable brand of turbocharged Teutonic tiki taka. They have been unstoppable this season, amassing an outrageous haul of 19 wins and two draws from their 21 Bundesliga matches.

But Bayern can be beaten. As Manchester City proved in 34 mad minutes back in December, that much-vaunted defence is not invulnerable. In Cazorla and Ozil, Arsenal have the midfield magicians who can unlock the German strongbox. And with the talismanic Franck Ribery missing for Bayern, Arsene Wenger’s side must try to secure a precious first-leg advantage.

KICK OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm

LAST THREE MEETINGS:

Bayern Munich 0 Arsenal 2 (Giroud, Koscielny), Champions League, March 2013

Arsenal 1 (Podolski) Bayern Munich 3 (Kroos, Muller, Mandzukic), Champions League, February 2013

Arsenal 1 (Henry) Bayern Munich 0, Champions League, March 2005

STATS:

English sides have won 7 of the last 10 Champions League meetings with German clubs – but the away side has triumphed in 8 of those matches.

Arsenal have lost their last 3 Champions League last 16 ties, while Bayern have won 4 of their last 5.

4 of the 5 goals that Arsenal have conceded in Europe this season have come in the last 20 minutes.

Bayern average 2.5 goals away from home this season, the highest in Europe’s top five leagues.

ODDS:

Arsenal to win: 4.5

Bayern Munich to win: 1.75

Draw: 3.75

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7pm.

 

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