Game: Arsenal – Bayern Munich
Date: 19 February, Tuesday 2014 year
Start time: 19:45 GMT
It’s February. The second part of February. This means that it’s time for the Champions league’ Round of 16. One of the matches which grab our attention is definitely Arsenal vs Bayern Munich.
Arsenal is having very good season and can be named as one of the four EPL title contenders. The battle for the title seems to be really bitter because Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool are separated by just four points.
This maybe is the closest Premier League race in many years. It’s not a secret that Wenger’s priority this season is exactly the Premier League. The “Gunners” are in a poor form recently – they won only one of their last 4 Premier League matches (against Crystal Palace), drawn two (2-2 against Southampton and bore draw at the “Emirates” against Man Utd) and lost one terribly – 1:5 at Anfield.
3 days before the first leg against Bayern, Arsenal got sweet FA Cup revenge over Liverpool with a 2:1 win. Arsene Wenger gave a rest to Gibbs, Casorla, Giroud, Sagna and Wilshere in the FA Cup clash, so they will be fresh for the Champions League battle.
Arsenal will be looking to end their Last 16 losing streak. If the want to do that, they have to raise their game to outdo the current champions Bayern Munich. Arsenal paid the ultimate price for their concession of two late goals at Napoli in the last group stage round and dropped down to second position. That led to a meeting with Bayern in second straight year.
Bayern are very hungry to become the first team in history to win back-to-back Champions League finals. They definitely have the quality to do that and they are the clear favourites to win the Champions League again.
In Bundesliga it’s a matter of time for Bayern to defend Bundesliga officially as they have 16-point lead at the top and are still unbeaten (19-2-0). The Bavarians are in a great form after the winter break – they won 6 Bundesliga games, DFB Pokal 1/4 final and they had conceded only one goal in these 7 games.
The last year’s battle between Arsenal and Bayern provided us a 3:1 win for Bayern at the “Emirates” and 0-2 loss in Munich but they won on away goals. Ribery warned his side not to repeat the mistakes from the last year. The Bavarians are by far the better team and maybe the best in the world.
All the Bayern players are available for the first leg. While Wenger will have to deal with the situation without Kallstrom, Ramsey, Walcott, Vermaelen, Flamini and Diaby. Not only Arsenal has to play at their absolute maximum to have any chance, but they have to do it without so much important players. The German treble winners have better quality all over the pitch and I can’t see how Wenger is gonna beat Bayern in their own game.
I think that Bayern will win the first leg with a convincing result and will make the game in Germany without intrigue because they won’t repeat the same mistake like last year.