Arsenal will be hosting Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium with a mammoth task of overturning a four-goal deficit in the second leg of the Champions League, on Tuesday. If that was not challenging enough, their recent form and off-the-field antics have made things all the more complicated for the aged Arsenal gaffer to get things right in what could be his last Champions League game with the club.
Arsenal– Among long-term injuries would be midfielders Santi Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny. At a time when the first-choice midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin have been more than pathetic, to say the least in that midfield position, their absence has thrust double the baggage on Arsene Wenger’s team selection.
We expect the under-fire manager to deploy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and injury returned Aaron Ramsey in the midfield. Granit Xhaka is one booking away from a ban. Mesut Ozil missed Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool with illness and we expect the German playmaker to return for the high-octane game.
Bayern Munich– Bayern Munich will have a huge void to fill as they will be without their most experienced player, Phillipe Lahm, going into the game. Manager Carlo Ancelotti is expected to play Rafinha in that position.
Jerome Boateng is still recovering from the shoulder injury and is expected to return to training in a few days. Winger Douglas Costa was subbed off early in the first half in their away win against FC Koln with a leg injury, and we expect Franck Ribery to take his place on the right wing. Renato Sanches has been out with cold but is expected to be in contention for a starting place.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1)– Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sanchez; Ozil, Perez, Giroud
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1)– Neuer; Alaba, Mats Hummels, Javi Martinez, Rafinha; Vidal, Thiago; Ribery, Thiago, Robben; Lewandowski
Arsenal– Alexis Sanchez is definitely the best player Arsenal have in their squad and it became more evident in the weekend’s game against Liverpool, where Wenger’s deluded decision to bench the Chilean backfired. Sanchez scored a brilliant goal away at Allianz Arena after missing from the spot and Arsenal would expect more of the same from him. Olivier Giroud has scored four goals past Neuer in Arsenal colours and we expect the Frenchman to continue the trend.
Bayern Munich– Bayern have an all-star team filled with players who could make a difference with their individual brilliance and Ancelotti won’t sweat much on it. Lewandowski has been the highest goal scorer so far and is expected to continue his prolific run. Arjen Robben could be another devastating weapon going into the game, who have always found it easier to score against the Gunners.
Arsenal @ 3.25
Draw @ 3.80
Bayern Munich @ 2.20
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