Bayern Munich vs Arsenal Preview – from Kyri Christodoulou

Arsenal travel to the Bavaria on Wednesday night in very good form, Arsenal have won 5 out off the last 6 in all competitions including a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich at the Emirates last month.

Both teams had very good spells in the game at the Emirates and the game could have gone either way really.

Just like at the Emirates last month Arsenal have to accept that Bayern will dominate possession for most of the game and Arsenal will have to be well organised and have a good shape off the ball just like they did against the Germans in London.

Petr Cech had to make 2 top saves from Bayern’s Thiago and Robert Lewandowski in each half, Arsenal dug in and took their chance with Giroud’s goal coming from an unusual Manuel Neuer blunder.

Football - Arsenal v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group F - Emirates Stadium, London, England - 20/10/15 Mesut Ozil celebrates with manager Arsene Wenger after scoring the second goal for Arsenal Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien

Arsenal went on to win 2-0 in the end with Mesut Ozil’s effort crossing the line in injury time despite Neuer’s efforts to stop it crossing the line.

Maybe what helped Arsenal is the fact they had to beat Bayern or it was curtains as far as the Champions League is concerned…similar situation in Munich this week.

I still feel if Arsenal loose in Munich they could still scrape through but what a difference a point or even 3 would make for the Gunners.

Even though Bayern are arguably the best team in the world at the moment Arsenal shouldn’t go to Germany with any fear, or what would be the point?

Why bother being in the Champions League if your going to fear Europe’s elite (your in the Champions League to play these teams). Bayern Munich will want to make a statement in the Allianz Arena after getting beat in London.

Arsenal’s record in Munich stretching back as far as 2001 is P4 W1 D1 L2 but the 2 defeats coming at the old Olympic stadium, Arsenal have played twice at the Allianz Arena and have won and drawn but you could argue both them games were in the 2nd legs of knockout ties and both were probably over after the 1st game.

Arsenal’s record in Germany since 2006 has seen them play there 6 times and lose just the once to Dortmund last season. So if you believe in records, Arsenal stand a chance on Wednesday. The German teams have done better against Arsenal in North London though.

I’ve seen Arsenal play against some top teams domestically and in Europe, home and away but the 2nd best team I’ve seen at Arsenal (After Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team) was Jupp Heynckes Bayern Munich who came to the Emirates in February 2013. In that first half they absolutely played Arsenal off the park and it was fantastic football to watch I have to admit. They ended up beating us 3-1 on the night and that side went on to win the treble so they were pretty good.

Bayern Munich’s start to their season has been ridiculously good they set a new Bundesliga record by winning their first 9 league games in a row including two 5-1 home wins against a high flying Dortmund and a very good Wolfsburg side who’ve shown what they can do to good teams in their own back yard. Also beating Wolfsburg 3-1 away at the Volkswagen Arena, a place they don’t loose very often in the DFB-Pokal Cup (Wolfsburg a team that finished 2nd in the Bundesliga behind Bayern last season.)

They did however drop their first domestic points of the season on Friday being held to a surprise 0-0 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern had a starting eleven off Neuer, Rafinha, Boateng, Benatia, Alaba, Lahm, Thiago, Robben, Muller, Costa, Lewandowski.

Robben is back from injury and it will be interesting to see if Guardiola starts the Dutchman after coming back from injury only a week ago.

Bayern still have Ribery and Goetze on the sidelines but have Badstuber back in the squad with Arsenal still missing Arteta, Ox, Walcott, Ramsey, Ospina, Rosicky, Wilshere, Welbeck so the squad is a little thin currently and may have to play the same team that started at Swansea on Saturday.

This is the third time in 4 years the two sides have met in this competition and as a Gooner I’m sick off playing Bayern Munich, mainly because they have beaten us over two legs in the last two meetings. Having said that they have always been great games for the neutrals to watch including the game at the Emirates two weeks ago.

After Arsenal’s first two group games this season in the Champions League it looked like we were heading into the Europa League after two shocking defeats and we still might do but beating Bayern at the Emirates has given the Gunners a chance and a victory in Munich on Wednesday and Arsenal somehow have a chance of winning the group stranger things have happened in football.

If Arsenal have a chance off getting a result in Munich then Wenger has to get his team and tactics spot on like he did at the Emirates.
It’s going to be tough considering what he will have on his bench on Wednesday night so we can’t afford any more injuries or tired legs.

Arsenal need to put in a proper European performance and you can’t play a pressing game away to a team like Bayern Munich because they have the ability and quality to drag you out off position open up gaps and pass rings round you, Arsenal will have to sit back in a shape and be organised without the ball and play on the break.

The players that worry me are Robert Lewandowski he’s gone two games without a goal (that’s his longest goal drought this season). Douglas Costa who has settled into that Bayern team from day one this season and gave Hector Bellerin a hard time in the first half at the Emirates, obviously Thomas Muller and Thiago who’s a very good technical player with quick feet, them three are probably the key three to try and keep quite but with Xavi Alonso and Arturo Vidal in midfield it shows the Bayern team is just full of fantastic players.

I think it’s going to be another fantastic game to watch for the neutrals and even though Arsenal are capable off pulling off great European nights every now and then Arsenal will be facing an angry Bayern Munich side who will want to make a statement . My gut says to me Bayern Munich will edge a close game 2-1 but I do predict Arsenal to get through the group by the skin off their teeth.

Thanks for reading @kyrigooner #UTA

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