Arsenal - Bayern Munich Preview: Wenger looking for response after shock FA Cup exit
The Gunners were dumped out of the cup by Championship side Blackburn on Saturday, and will have to be in better form if they are to deny last season's Champions League finalists
By Tom J Doyle
Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen
Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
With Nacho Monreal cup-tied, Kieran Gibbs (thigh) injured and Andre Santos loaned out to Gremio last week, Thomas Vermaelen is likely to be utilised at left-back by Arsene Wenger.
Mikel Arteta is still not fully fit after recovering from injury and, as exclusively revealed by Goal.com on Monday, Wenger is believed to be leaning towards a front trio of Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla and axing Olivier Giroud.
Javi Martinez (toe) missed Bayern's last game against Wolfsburg, but should return for the runaway Bundesliga leaders.
Claudio Pizarro (illness) and Holger Badstuber (knee) will miss out for the visitors, while Jerome Boateng is suspended.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Arsenal and Bayern Munich have met four times before in the Champions League, with the Gunners victorious just once.
- Their last meeting was also at the Champions League last-16 stage, which the German side won 3-2 on aggregate in 2004-05.
- Olivier Giroud has four assists in the group stages of the Champions League this season; only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has more with five.
- Lukas Podolski has scored three goals from three shots on target in the Champions League this term. He is 17/2 to score the first goal in the game with BetVictor.
- Bayern Munich had the most different goalscorers in the group stage, with nine.
- The German side also conceded the fewest shots on target in the group stage, with just 17 against.
- The Bavarians last won in England in April 2001, with a 1-0 quarter-final victory over Manchester United on course to winning the tournament.
- Mario Gomez (pictured, right) has scored 25 goals in 26 Champions League starts.
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Top 3 Predictions
Arsenal 2-1 FC Bayern München
- 15.8 %
Arsenal 1-3 FC Bayern München
- 11.37 %
Arsenal 1-2 FC Bayern München
- 11.36 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Mar 13, 2013||FC Bayern München 0 - Arsenal 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Feb 19, 2013||Arsenal 1 - FC Bayern München 3|
|Dec 11, 2013||SSC Napoli 2 - Arsenal 0||UCL|
|Dec 8, 2013||Arsenal 1 - Everton 1||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Arsenal 2 - Hull 0||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||Cardiff City 0 - Arsenal 3||EPL|
|Nov 26, 2013||Arsenal 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||UCL|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
While Blackburn may have walked away from the Emirates Stadium on Saturday with a victory, it would be naive to assume Bayern will have it all their own way on Tuesday evening.
The threat of Theo Walcott and the tenacity of Jack Wilshere cannot be ignored, but at the same time it is almost impossible to look beyond the wealth of talent the Bundesliga club have at their disposal.Given their strength in defence, it would take a strong nerve to bet on the home side stopping Bayern triumphing at the Emirates.