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PREVIEW: Arsenal v Bayern: Injury News, Preferred XI + Prediction
The big one has arrived; Bayern Munich at the Emirates. It really doesn’t get much bigger than playing the reigning European champions.
Bayern arrive in the capital as arguably the greatest team on the planet and they have somehow improved on the treble winning side of last season under Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard has guided his new team unbeaten through 21 Bundesliga games so far, winning 19, and cruised through the group stages of the Champions League. They score goals for fun and have conceded just 9 in the league all season.
However, we’ve heard all this before. We faced Bayern at this same point last season and after losing 3-1 in the first leg at home, we faced a daunting trip to the Allianz Arena for what many called a ‘dead rubber’ second leg.
They hadn’t lost on home soil all season and had only conceded a handful of goals all campaign, but we put in an excellent display to shock the Germans with a 2-0 win and ended up only going out on away goals. We literally pushed them all the way and while they may have improved, so have we.
Arsenal are certainly a far better side now than this time last year and importantly, we look impressive at home. We’ve not lost since the opening day fiasco against Aston Villa (except the League Cup clash with Chelsea) and have only conceded 2 in our last 13 at the Emirates. So while it’s certainly a huge task to beat Bayern over two legs, we have the capability to do it if we play like we have for the majority of the season and don’t collapse like we’ve done against City and Liverpool.
We have no fresh injuries to worry about. Mikel Arteta is suspended so Jack Wilshere should come back in having been rested for our 2-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger is likely to make a number of changes after resting several first team players at the weekend, with the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud all expected to be recalled to the starting eleven.
Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen, Aaron Ramsey, Kim Kallstrom and Abou Diaby all remain injured.
The majority of the team picks itself but the big decision for the boss is who should start on the right wing. Tomas Rosicky was rested completely for the Liverpool game which suggests Arsene is going to start him.
However, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been in superb form of late, scoring three in his last four, and I think it would be harsh to drop the lad. We could certainly do with Rosicky’s pressing game, but The Ox’s pace will also be vital so I’d stick with him on the wing.
It’s a huge ask to beat the current champions but these are the games the players fought so hard to secure during the second half of last season. Win, lose or draw we should enjoy it as not every fan is lucky enough to take in big European nights such as this.
A prediction all comes down to how we approach the game. If we freeze like we’ve done in some big games this year, we have no chance, but I think we’ll see a big performance from the lads tonight and I’m going to back them to pull of a famous win!
Arsenal 2-1 Bayern Munich COYG!!!!
What are your thought on the game? Can we beat them?