Bayern Munich v Arsenal special

  • By: Dave Tickner
  • Last Updated: March 11 2014, 17:28 GMT

Arsenal travel to Bayern Munich tonight looking to overturn a two-goal deficit and we have all angles covered for the big match.

  • Toni Kroos is mobbed after scoring in the first leg
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain: Offers a pacy threat on the counter-attack 

Overview

Arsenal's task in a word? Daunting. They must overhaul a two-goal deficit against a team enjoying one of the great periods of form. Not just currently, but ever. Bayern have shredded the Bundesliga this season, leading the division by 20 points. They have won their last 13 games, and 25 of their last 26. Six of their last eight victories have been by at least four clear goals. Arsenal's only hope is surely for the German juggernaut to suddenly be gripped by complacency. However, the Gunners' 2-0 win here at the same stage last season - which wiped out a 3-1 first-leg deficit and left Arsenal undone only on away goals - may count against them. It's hard to imagine Bayern making the same mistake twice. Arsenal's own form is inconsistent, especially when placed against Bayern Munich's current efforts. They have been impressive in recent home victories over Everton, Sunderland and Liverpool, but their form on the road offers less cause for optimism. They have won none of their last three away games, drawing at Southampton before defeats at Liverpool and Stoke.

Team News

Arsenal are without Wojciech Szczesny after his red card in the first leg; Lukasz Fabianski is set to deputise. Kieran Gibbs, Yaya Sanogo, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are all ruled out through injury. Laurent Koscielny could return after missing the FA Cup win over Everton. Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, in contrast, has a fully fit squad at his disposal.

First Leg: Arsenal 0 Bayern Munich 2

Both teams missed first-half penalties - with Szczesny sent off for bringing down Arjen Robben - before Bayern made their one-man advantage tell with second-half goals from the excellent Toni Kroos and substitute Thomas Muller.

Players to watch

Bayern Munich - Toni Kroos

The midfielder was the star of the show as Bayern won the first leg. A complete midfielder, Kroos is equally comfortable breaking up opposition attacks in front of his own defence or splitting the opposition's with a killer pass at the other end. His frightening combination of creativity and precision has made him one of the world's most coveted players, and this week he confirmed that the Premier League could be his next destination.

Arsenal - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Easy to say Arsenal's defence - or stand-in keeper Fabianski - will be key to their chances tonight, but without goals any defensive heroism against freescoring Bayern will be futile. Theo Walcott's pace on the counter-attack troubled Bayern last year and, in his absence, Oxlade-Chamberlain may be the man Arsenal rely on if they are to at least make Bayern sweat tonight.

Current form

Bayern Munich

Wolfsburg (away) - won 6-1
Schalke (home) - won 5-1
Hannover (away) - won 4-0
Arsenal (away) - won 2-0
Freiburg (home) - won 4-0

Arsenal

Everton (home) - won 4-1
Stoke (away) - lost 1-0
Sunderland (home) - won 4-1
Bayern Munich (home) - lost 2-0
Liverpool (home) - won 2-1

Previous meetings

2013 Champions League last 16:
Bayern Munich 0 Arsenal 2
Arsenal 1 Bayern Munich 3

Last year's clash will be what Arsenal fans and players have been clinging to since that first-leg defeat. After going down at home, the Gunners went to Munich and struck early through Olivier Giroud. Bayern appeared to be holding Arsenal at arm's length for most of the game, but were left to survive a panicky last five minutes after Laurent Koscielny made it 2-0. While Bayern scraped through on away goals, it was a result and performance that inspired Arsenal to finish the domestic season strongly. If they cannot qualify tonight, then they will at least want to again be able to take positive vibes into their unfinished business in the Premier League and FA Cup.

Do you remember?

Arjen Robben

The Dutch winger spent three successful seasons with Arsenal's London rivals Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, scoring 15 goals in 67 appearances and winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups before leaving for Real Madrid. He spent two years at the Bernabeu before making the move to Munich where he has become a fixture in a team that has won a host of top titles.

Claudio Pizarro

Another member of Bayern's squad to spend time at Chelsea, albeit with rather less success than Robben. The Peru striker scored just two goals in 32 games for the Blues before returning to Germany and a second spell - initially on loan - with Werder Bremen. In 2012 he made the move from Werder to Bayern, as he had in 2001. While not first choice at the all-conquering Bayern, he has once again proved more prolific than he was in England, contributing 17 goals in 42 games since returning to Munich.

Betting

Bayern Munich are 1/3 favourites with Sky Bet to claim victory tonight. Arsenal can be backed at a whopping 8/1 to win (16/1 to qualify) and the draw is 9/2. PRICE BOOSTS include Arsenal to win 2-0 at 55/1, Mesut Ozil to score first at 18s and Olivier Giroud to score first in a 1-1 draw at 105/1.

We have Ian Ogg's betting tips for the night's Champions League action to check out too.

Video:

Arsene Wenger aims to make history

Toni Kroos on possible Premier League move

Guardiola wary of Arsenal threat


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