Arsenal take on Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium in the 1st leg in the Round of 16 Champions League. The London side haven’t generally fared too well against big teams this season, and it’s time to make a change. Against the mighty Germans – Bayern Munich, Arsene Wenger’s side will have to put in a brilliant and dominating performance to gain anything out of the Champions League clash. Catch the live streaming here.
The game is scheduled for an 8.45 pm CET (1.15 am IST Thursday morning) kickoff.
Bayern Munich are, of course, familiar opponents for Arsenal, with the German side dismantling them 3-1 in the last 16 first leg in the previous season, before just about surviving an inspired Arsenal fightback at the Allianz Arena to progress and eventually win the title.
The Gunners have made improvements with the capture of Mesut Ozil. But Bayern have improved even further since their treble-winning season with captures of Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara. Pep Guardiola’s side have combined German efficiency with Spanish flair in their formidable brand of football.
Bayern Munich can definitely be beaten, as Manchester City proved in 34 mad minutes back in December, that much-vaunted defence is not invulnerable. With the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal have the midfield magicians who can unlock the German strongbox. And with the talismanic Franck Ribery missing for Bayern, Arsene Wenger’s side must try to secure a precious first-leg advantage.
Arsenal and Bayern Munich clash for the second successive season in the Champions League knockout stage. The German champions beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates last year.
1- Arsenal’s record against German clubs reads W12 D4 L10. However, they have lost each of their last three home games against Bundesliga opponents.
2- Mesut Ozil has covered more distance in the Champions League than any other Arsenal player this season (64,535 m).
3- Arsenal have lost none of their last 13 home games (W10 D3) and have conceded just twice over that period at the Emirates.
4- Arsenal come into the match having scored 5 goals in their last three games, and having conceded six, and having been usurped at the top of the Premier League table by London rivals Chelsea.
5- Arsenal have lost their last 3 Champions League last 16 ties.
6- Lukas Podolski has averaged a goal every two games since his return from injury last Boxing Day.
7- 4 of the 5 goals that Arsenal have conceded in Europe this season have come in the last 20 minutes.
1- Munich boast a W3 D1 L2 record over Arsenal.
2- Bayern Munich come into the Champions League clash having scored 16 goals in their last four games, they’ve conceded a grand total of zero goals in that time.
3- Bayern are on a nine-game winning streak and have conceded just twice during that period.
4- Munich’s 4-0 win over Freiburg last Saturday was the 17th time this season they have netted three or more goals.
5- Arjen Robben averaged five shots per game in the Champions League group stage and scored twice in four appearances.
6- Bayern have won 4 of their last 5 Champions League last 16 ties.
7- Bayern average 2.5 goals away from home this season, the highest in Europe’s top five leagues.
LAST THREE MEETINGS
Bayern Munich 0 Arsenal 2 (Giroud, Koscielny), Champions League, March 2013
Arsenal 1 (Podolski) Bayern Munich 3 (Kroos, Muller, Mandzukic), Champions League, February 2013
Arsenal 1 (Henry) Bayern Munich 0, Champions League, March 2005