Having lost both of their opening games in the Champions League this Season, Arsenal are coming into this game knowing that defeat is not an option. However, looking at Bayern Munich and their future in this Season’s Champions League looks dim.
The Bavarians have lost none of their last 12 games this Season – winning all of them in the process. Thus, what Arsenal will need to overcome them is their strongest possible lineup as well as a bit of luck.
Here is the strongest possible Arsenal lineup to face Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Thanks to the clean-sheet which the Serbian managed against Watford on the weekend, Petr Cech is now just two clean sheets away from equaling David James’ record. Thus, if Arsenal are to have anything from this game, they would require the former Chelsea goalkeeper to be at his personal best on Tuesday.
Talking about players who take chances that come their way, Hector Bellerin could be regarded as one of them. At the start of last Season, when Mathieu Debuchy was sidelined for the whole of the season, Arsene Wenger turned to the Spaniard to solve his problems at the right back position. From that fateful day up till now, Hector Bellerin has proved to be a brilliant find of the Frenchman.
While they know him quite well in Germany courtesy of his performances for the German National team, Per Mertesacker would be hoping to stop his best friend, Thomas Muller on Tuesday night. While pace might be an issue, it would be the defending on set-pieces where Mertesacker could be the key for Arsenal.
No matter what you say regarding the form of Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista – due to his performances of late, deserves a call by Arsene Wenger for this fixture.
Another Spaniard in the Arsenal squad, the left full back was on top of his game against Watford on the weekend. While the 3-0 scoreline might flatter the Arsenal fans, the truth was that Arsenal defended well in the first half to keep the match goalless.
A mixture of youth, composure and a true warrior, Francis Coquelin has the chance to prove him at the big stage on Tuesday. The fact that Arsenal lost the plot against Chelsea last only when Coquelin was subbed out due to injury gives another insight of how important the Frenchman has become for Arsenal this Season.
A player who has a knack of scoring games in important matches, the two-footed Spanish midfielder would be hoping to get the better of Bayern defense. In addition to his role in the offense, it will be his part in stopping Xabi Alonso that might decide the outcome of this game.
For a player who suffered several prolonged spells on the sidelines due to injury, the last two months have been a fairy tale ride for the Welshman. In addition to getting a permanent role in the starting 11 of the Gunners, Ramsey was a pivotal part of the Wales squad that qualified for EURO 2016.
At this stage last Season, we were debating about whether the left or right wing is the position that would get the best out of German. As it turned out to be this Season, it is the role in the heart of Arsenal midfield where Ozil could be ruthless. In addition to providing assists to his team-mates – a trait that the German has perfected over the years, Ozil has been scoring some crucial goals for the Gunners this Season.
Arguably one of the top performers in the Premier League at this stage, Arsene Wenger would be hoping to see the similar form from Sanchez in the Champions League. The Chilean has scored 10-goals in his last six games for club and country and with Bayern Munich up next, Alexis Sanchez is one man whom the Bavarian defenders would be keeping an eye on.
For a player whose Arsenal career was in tatters before the start of this Season, Theo Walcott has answered the critics in sumptuous style over the last few months. In addition to Arsene Wenger who avoided a lot of criticism courtesy to the form of Walcott, England National team manager Roy Hodgson might also be pinning his hopes on the Englishman for EURO 2016.