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Preview: Bayern vs Arsenal, Team News, Line-Up & Predicted Score
Arsenal face the daunting prospect of playing Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena this evening knowing a positive result is required.
The 2-0 victory over the Bundesliga champions at the Emirates two weeks ago not only proved Bayern are indeed beatable but it also gave us real hope that we could still qualify from Group F.
We still sit bottom of the group having picked up just one win so far but the good news is that three points is all that separates us from joint leaders Bayern and Olympiakos.
There are many permutations that could play out over the coming weeks but the likelihood is we’ll need a point tonight to give us the best chance of getting out the group, otherwise we’ll probably be left needing to win in Greece on Matchday 6 by two clear goals.
It’s going to be a tough task to bring anything home this evening as Bayern are a formidable side and we have nine first team squad players unavailable through injury.
However, we’re in good form of late – with the exception of the Sheffield Wednesday game – and remain level on points with Man City at the top of the Premier League thanks to a 3-0 win at Swansea on Saturday. What I’d give for a similar result tonight!
Our injury crisis deepened further yesterday when Arsene revealed that Hector Bellerin hasn’t travelled to Germany due to a groin injury, so Mathieu Debuchy is set to full-in at right-back.
Mikel Arteta and David Ospina are due to resume training on Friday but this game comes too soon so they remain unavailable. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott are also out but should be back shortly after the international break.
Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky remain long-term injury concerns and won’t be back until the New Year.
With so many players out injured, young attacker Jeff-Reine Adelaide is in the squad and has travelled to Germany.
As for Bayern, Franck Ribery, Mario Gotze and Sebastian Rode are all unavailable but Arjen Robben, Javi Martinez and Medhi Benatia are back in contention after recovering from injury.
Options are thin on the ground but I’d make a couple of changes tonight. Obviously Debuchy is going to start in place of Bellerin but I think it would be asking for trouble starting him next to Mertesacker. The lack of pace down our right side would be exposed by Douglas Costa. Therefore, I’d start Gabriel at the back.
The other change would be to start Gibbs in place of Campbell and move Sanchez to the right hand side. It’s not ideal but we should hopefully be sitting back, protecting the defence and looking to counter-attack and we need the defensive capabilities of Gibbs to help achieve that.
This would be my team:
As I said in my preview for the reverse fixture, it’s impossible to know what Arsenal will turn up. We could easily get thrashed 3-0 tonight but we’re just as capable of pulling off a stunning win as we did at the Emirates or at the Allianz in 2012/13. With that in mind, I’m going for a 1-1 draw. I just have a feeling if we get the game-plan right, we can get a very valuable point. Bayern 1-1 Arsenal