Arsenal comes into this match against last year’s runners-up on the back foot and low on confidence. After losing 1-0 against Blackburn Rovers over the weekend and crashing out of the FA Cup – probably their best chance of winning a trophy this year – and then to go and witness the spectacular breakdown of Arsene Wenger in the pre-match press conference, I really don’t see Arsenal making it through this round of the Champions League.
Watch the presser here:
That aside, let’s look at this fixture and see what both teams will be up against.
Head to Head
Arsenal and Bayern Munich have met four times before, all in the Champions League. Bayern Munich have a slight head to head advantage, winning 2 and losing only 1 of the 4 games. Arsenal have won 1 match and lost 2 – the other ending in a 2-2 draw in London.
Not much history in this particular fixture, but maybe there is more to look at when comparing results vs the opponents’ countrymen.
Arsenal have played 24 matches against German opposition and have won a respectable 12 games. 7 games were lost while 5 ended equal. With 47 goals, they average almost 2 goals per game against German teams.
Having played 36 matches against English teams, Bayern Munich have even more experience but they only won 13 of those matches. Losing 10 and drawing 13 games puts Arsenal slightly ahead in this comparison. Bayern’s goal average against English teams is less than 1.5 goals per game.
For the last two seasons, Arsenal’s Champions League dreams have ended in the round of 16 – with the ever-increasing pressure on Wenger, he will be desperate to progress further in this competition.
This is Arsenal’s 13 successive season in the round of 16 and the last time they made it through to the quarter finals was back in 2010. This is the 3rd English team Bayern have faced in the last two campaigns – beating Manchester City 2-0 at home and losing by the same score away and ofcourse losing at home to Chelsea in last year’s final.
Arsenal will be slightly boosted by the presence of Lukas Podolski who played for and against Bayern in his time in Germany. Per Mertesacker has also played and scored against the Germans while playing at Werder Bremen. On the other hand, Arjen Robben have played against Arsenal 4 times while at Chelsea – he scored one goal and never lost a game against their London rivals.
A key factor for Arsenal will be the form of Theo Walcott – he has scored 11 goals this season, reaching double figures for the first time in his career. He will have to be on form should Arsenal look to get something from this match.
After being suspended for these two games due to a matchday 6 dismissal, the absence of Jerome Boateng could be a concern for Bayern – also keep in mind that Dante, Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger will get a suspension with their next yellow card.
Bayern have gone 18 games without losing in all competitions and have won 5 out of 5 in 2013. They have also won 10 out of 11 away games in the Bundesliga – only conceding 1 goal in those games.
Personally, considering recent events and the season as a whole, I don’t see Arsenal winning over the two legs and I honestly don’t see Wenger hanging around the Emirates for too much longer.
Please let us know what your thoughts are!
Written for The Pundits by @thatWallace