Arsenal’s last meeting with Bayern Munich had a positive outcome, despite the English side having been eliminated from the Champions League. The away goal rule placed a dark cloud over a brilliant performance from the Gunners at the Allianz Arena.
That 0-2 victory offered Arsene Wenger’s side a breath of fresh air. They began to believe in themselves, and went on to finish strong in the Premier League.
Bayern Munich now returns to the Emirates, where they defeated the Gunners 1-3 last season. Oddly enough, the first leg last season took place on February 19th, which is the same date of this season’s first leg at the Emirates. But will the result repeat itself?
Arsene Wenger will certainly hope not, as will the Arsenal players and fans.
“Yes, this game is a measurement of our progress,” said Arsene Wenger. “We play against the best team in the world and we have an opportunity to show that we can beat them.”
“That means we want to not only be at our level but to raise it. We have to be absolutely efficient in these kinds of games. But I think there were some aspects in the game against Liverpool that tell you the spirit and desire are there, so we are ready for the challenge,” he added.
It goes without saying that Arsene wanted to go head-to-head with Bayern again. He wanted to show what his side so nearly did last season, could really be done this time around.
The Gunners’ form heading into Wednesday’s fixture has not been the greatest. They were embarrassed at Anfield with a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, drew at home against Manchester United, but they managed to bounce back at the weekend.
A hard fought 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup saw the Gunners progress into the quarterfinals of the competition, while also renewing the team’s spirit and confidence.
Missing for this important match for the Gunners will be Mikel Arteta due to suspension. Wenger will also be without Vermaelen (leg), Ramsey (thigh), Walcott (knee) and Diaby (knee).
Bayern Munich will also have absences of their own on Wednesday night. Schweinsteiger is a doubt with an ankle injury, as is Van Buyten (knee). Ribery is a confirmed absence, while Shaqiri got injured in Bayern’s last match, and will not play at the Emirates.
This will not be the first time Pep Guardiola takes on Arsenal, and the Spanish manager knows that his side will have to put in a 90-minute performance.
“I learned that you can never dominate Arsenal for 90 minutes,” Guardiola said. “You can dominate for 30 minutes, to half-time, for 75 minutes, but for 90 minutes it is impossible.”
“If you look at Arsenal, with these quality players, you always have a problem. We are doing well in Germany, but now we face a good test to know what our level is. I’m looking forward to finding out.”
Munich is running away with the Bundesliga, but they will now take on another English club in the Champions League, after going against Manchester City in the group stage.
The Bavarians are favorites to win the competition, and on paper they are the stronger side. But Wednesday’s match will be a very stern test for the Gunners, with a positive result possibly propelling them to a very entertaining final months of the season.
Where To Watch This Match - Live Stream, Start Time, TV Channels, Live Scores
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