Bayern Munich – Arsenal
One of the strongest favourites to win the trophy Bayern Munich is hosting Arsenal in a first 1/8-finals Champions League game at the Allianz Arena in the Bavarian capital.
Winning the tournament is the big goal in front of Bayern’s new manager Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian tactician will try do to something which Josep Guardiola was unable to do in his three years in Munich. Bayern will most surely win the Bundesliga withouth much problems, so the biggest and most important challenge in front of Ancelotti remains the Champions League.
And his first real test in the competition will be Arsenal. The Gunners are unable to reach the 1/4-finals six years in a row, which is not very encouraging before facing a powerhouse of Bayern’s calibre. If we believe the rumours, this could be Arsene Wenger’s last season at the Emirates, so the French manager will try to do his best in the Champions League, which he never won during his time in North London.
Bayern’s central defender Jerome Boateng is missing the game because of injury, while the experienced Xabi Alonso is doubtful with a knee problem. The good news for Ancelotti come from the recovery of Franck Ribery, who could return in the squad after recovering in time from a hamstring injury.
It’s expected to see some major changes in Arsenal’s starting eleven for this game. After showing some dissapointing form lately, Petr Cech could sit on the bench and leave the #1 shirt to the Colombian international David Ospina. Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla remain sidelined for the Gunners, but Hector Bellerin will start once again after recovering from a concussion.
We should expect some enjoyable attacking football at the Allianz Arena between two offensive-minded teams. Bayern are the clear favourite to win this clash, but Arsenal are not a team to be underrestimated as well. Especially after winning a group with PSG in it.