Arsenal fall victim to another tough Champions League tie as the London club have been drawn against German giants Bayern Munich. It's not Barcelona, but it promises to be a highly entertaining encounter for Arsene Wenger's men, with the Bavarian's being in imperious form this season.
Arsenal and Bayern Munich have met four times before in the Champions League, with the Germans winning twice, Arsenal one and the other being a draw. Their last encounter dates back to the 2004/05 Champions League last 16 when Bayern won 3-2 on aggregate.
Arsenal first hosted Bayern Munich in the 2000/2001 season. The Gunners took a 2 goal lead through Theirry Henry and Kanu, however the German side soon came back firing to level the game 2-2. Arsenal hosted Bayern once again in the 04/05 season, and a solitary Theirry Henry goal looked to be the beginning of a late onslaught for the London side, who failed to bring back the two goal deficit on aggregate.
Arsenal fans can take note that their club have only lost two of their 17 knockout games at home in the Champions League, whilst Bayern have failed to record a victory on each of their last four trips to England in the Champions League.
Bayern Munich had the most goalscorer's in this seasons Champions League group stages with 9, whilst Mario Gomez has scored 25 goals in 26 Champions League starts.
Club captain Thomas Vermaelen admitted the tie would be tough for Arsenal, but says 'anything can happen' in European football. The Belgian said, “It’s a tough one but we knew before [that] it doesn’t matter who we drew, it will always be a tough one, especially in the Champions League.”
Club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had a slightly more positive attitude towards the tie. He said: “We know Arsenal well. We can be satisfied with the draw, but we mustn't underestimate them. It's important we try to come away from London with a good result, score a goal there and lay down a marker. We can win it, and we start as favourites."
Bayern reached the final last season, but lost out to English side Chelsea. The German side have reached two finals in three seasons, and ended up on the losing side both times. Jupp Heynckes will be determined to put things straight in his final campaign at Bayern, with Pep Guardiola set to take over in the summer.
Possible Starting Eleven: Arsenal
Wojciech Szczensy; Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen; Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla; Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott.
Possible Starting Eleven – Bayern Munich
Neur; Lahm, Van Buytem, Dante, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Muller, Kroos, Ribery; Mandzukic
Prediction: Unfortunately for you Arsenal fans, I see Bayern Munich being comfortable winners Tuesday evening. This rampant Bayern side are in full flow at the moment, whilst Arsenal are in a season of major transition. The London club don't have a natural left back on the cards, with Andre Santos leaving the club, Keiran Gibbs injured and Nacho Monreal cup-tied.
Arsenal 0 – 2 Bayern Munich