A visit to the Allianz Arena won’t do much to ease the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger, when Arsenal take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League
For the past six seasons Arsenal have exited at the last 16 stage of the Champions League and the reward for winning their group this season was a tie with Bayern Munich. The Gunners were knocked out at this stage by the German giants in the 2013-2014 season and suffered an embarrassing 5-1 defeat in their last visit to the Allianz Arena in the group stage in 2015.
In the Premier League title hopes are fading fast with Arsenal sitting in 4th and 10 points off league leaders Chelsea. The Gunners suffered a 3-1 loss to the Blues in their last away match with Olivier Giroud providing the consolation goal in the first minute of added time. That followed a 2-1 loss at home against Watford and it’s Arsenal’s fragile defence that will be most worrying against Bayern Munich. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Iwobi seem reluctant to track back which exposes them to counter-attack and will allow Bayern to increase their goal output.
7 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich are unbeaten in fourteen matches and have won fifteen consecutive Champions League matches on their home soil. But Carlo Ancelotti’s men haven’t been dominating teams like in seasons gone by. They were held to a 1-1 draw at home against 11th placed Schalke at the beginning of the month, and despite the best defensive record in the Bundesliga this season they’ve kept just nine clean sheets from twenty matches. They’ve also been slow to get off the mark and only been in front at half time in four of their last eleven leagues matches and in only half of their Champions League group games.
However Bayern Munich at home are clear favourites for this match but Arsenal should be able to get on the score sheet, as the last time the Gunners failed to score away from home was a 0-0 draw with Leicester back in August. This match could also be a big opportunity for Mesut Ozil if he makes Wenger’s selection, although there’s speculation he won’t. After a series sub-par performances he has the chance make an impact against a team he’s often linked with, which should help him regain some confidence.
Arsenal are capable of grinding out a positive result against anyone, but even with Bayern not quite at their best they still look invincible at home.