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Preview: Arsenal v Bayern: team news, Ramsey to start + prediction
Arsenal need to salvage some pride when we take on Bayern Munich in the second leg of our Champions League last-16 tie this evening.
The 5-1 first leg defeat in Munich was as predictable as it was depressing and it’s left us needing a minor miracle to turn things around and progress to the quarter finals for the first time in six years.
Sadly, our season has actually got worse following the first leg as we dropped out of the top four in the Premier League after losing 3-1 to Liverpool on Saturday night.
The game was overshadowed by reports of a bust-up between Alexis Sanchez and Arsene Wenger/his team mates which resulted in the Chilean international being dropped at Anfield.
It’s all just led to further divides in the fan-base while calls for Wenger to walk away this summer have intensified so its safe to say the club is in a total mess right now and the last thing we probably need is playing Bayern.
However, I suppose it does give the players an opportunity to show some fight but even the most optimistic supporter can’t surely see us turning things around this evening?
Sanchez is expected to be recalled but there will be no Mesut Ozil once again as the German playmaker is deemed unfit after only just returning to training following illness.
David Ospina is set for another run out between the sticks while Aaron Ramsey will be hoping for some game-time after being an unused substitute against Liverpool having recovered from a calf injury.
Mohamed Elneny remains unavailable so he’s still on the sidelines along with Santi Cazorla.
Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti has promised to field a full strength side so the likes of Mats Hummels, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Xabi Alonso should be recalled after being rested at the weekend.
With Ozil out I’d like to see Arsene deploy a three-man midfield. Iwobi is in a rut right now and should be dropped with Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain playing in front of Xhaka. Coquelin should be nowhere near the team tonight.
I’d go with Welbeck through the middle and Sanchez on the left but the two can interchange throughout the game, while I’d go with Walcott on the right. We’re going to have to hit Bayern on the break and pace up front is the only way we can hurt them.
This would be my line-up:
This would be my team but in reality Wenger will probably stick with Coquelin and Iwobi, and he might even retain Giroud up front just to banter with us.
While progressing to the quarter finals is almost impossible, I really hope we at least see a response from the players tonight to show the fans they care about the club. We’ve been a total shambles in big games this season and this could be our last Champions League game for a while so the players owe the supporters a performance.
If we give it a go I fancy us to score a couple but unfortunately I don’t see any way we can keep Bayern out at the other end so I’m going for an entertaining 2-2 draw. Arsenal 2-2 Bayern